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WASHINGTON: The world may have lost a precious four to six weeks in taking defensive measures coronavirus pandemic after China’s President Xi Jinping personally asked WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for postponing a human-to-human transmission warning, a German magazine has reported, citing the country’s intelligence agency. The report, which is strongly contested by the WHO, would strengthen Trump the administration’s claim that the organization is under China’s control and that Beijing hid the severity of the outbreak for several weeks.

According to the report in Germany’s Der Spiegel, the country’s intelligence agency ‘Bundesnachrichtendienst’ (BND) Xi on 21 January called Ghebreyesus to ask for a delay in the global warning of pandemic. An early warning would have allowed countries to close travel from China and take other preventive measures and save tens of thousands of lives. US intelligence reports have also claimed that China “deliberately concealed the severity” of the pandemic in early January and provided medical supplies.

But the WHO says the allegations are unfounded and that not only was there a call between Xi and Ghebreyesus, but that they have never spoken on the phone. “Such inaccurate reports distract and detract from the efforts of the WHO and the world to end the Covid-19 pandemic,” the WHO said in a statement noting that China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus on January 20, which would be a day before the alleged call.

The WHO itself publicly stated on January 22 that “data collected… indicates that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan, “Although it was only in March that the organization declared it a global pandemic, launching a worldwide shutdown. Many experts believe that if the shutdown had occurred earlier, the virus might have been better contained.

The Washington-China / WHO spat continues, even as the US pandemic toll closed to 80,000 on Sunday, with President Trump not blaming China and the WHO, but also his predecessor Barack Obama for the US situation. “We are getting good marks for dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, especially the very early BAN for people from China, the infectious source coming into the United States. Compare that to the Obama / Sleepy Joe disaster known as the H1N1 Swine Flu. Bad trademarks, bad votes – didn’t have a clue! “Trump raged on Twitter. Trump was apparently annoyed that Obama called his handling of the crisis “an absolutely chaotic disaster”.

Trump has also had to face the coronavirus infringement of the White House to get within a degree of him and his family, with his official valet, an aide to his daughter Ivanka and the coronavirus spokesman -task force that tests positive. Over the weekend, three key officials in the task force, including Drs Anthony Fauci, announced that they were self-catering, apparently because they had been close to task force spokesman Katie Miller.



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