WHO COVID-19 report was focused on 'pleasing' Beijing: Ex-US official
Washington: A former US National Security Council's senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense has said the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the origin of coronavirus has shown that the world health body was more focused on pleasing Beijing.
In his opinion piece published in National Interest, Anthony Ruggiero, who is now a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said: " The WHO team also did not investigate the activities at the Wuhan Institute, preferring instead to believe the answers they received. Peter Daszak, a member of the WHO team, admitted that the WHO team wasn’t focused on whether China covered up the origins of the virus."
"The report notes there were 76, 253 people between October and December 2019 with illnesses compatible with coronavirus illness. Beijing only provided information on ninety-two cases. About two hundred thousand blood donations are made annually in Wuhan; China has not provided access to the 2019 samples which could be tested for signs the virus was circulating earlier than December 2019," read the report.
He said a truly independent investigation is needed to prevent the next pandemic.
"But Beijing will need to be more transparent and consent to a forensic investigation of the Wuhan lab. Continued pressure in the WHO could lead to a real investigation, but the Biden administration may need to use the United Nations Security Council to authorize the investigation. Even if China vetoes the effort, we will be no worse off," he said.