WHO Denies COVID-19 ‘Cover-Up Call’ Between Xi Jinping & Dr Tedros

The WHO tweeted on Sunday mentioning that the two have never spoke to each other on a phone call.

Published10 May 2020, 11:00 AM IST
2 min read

The World Health Organisation on Sunday, 10 May, denied German media outlet Der Spiegel’s report claiming that Chinese President Xi Jinping asked WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom to hold back information on coronavirus outbreak while on a phone call in January.

Citing intelligence from ‘Bundesnachrichtendienst’ (BND), Spiegel had reported that Beijing exerted pressure on the WHO to “delay a global warning” about the initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

“In a 21 January telephone call, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to hold back information about person-to-person transmission and delay a pandemic warning,” the website mentioned.

Attributing to BND’s assessment, it further mentioned that China’s information police cost “four to six weeks of time to fight the virus worldwide.”

Soon after, WHO dismissed the claims made by Der Spiegel in its report. “Der Spiegel reports of a 21 January 2020, telephone conversation between Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and President Xi Jinping of China are unfounded and untrue (sic).”

WHO tweeted on Sunday, mentioning that the two have never spoken to each other on a phone call.

The organisation also noted that China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus on 20 January.

United States President Donald Trump had accused WHO of becoming “China-centric” during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and announced a halt to the sizeable funding the US sends to the WHO.

"Today, I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organisation while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organisation's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus. Everybody knows what has gone on there," Trump had earlier told reporters at his daily White House news conference on the pandemic.

(With inputs from AFP, The Indian Express)

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