[imagesource: Fred Dufour/Reuters]
There are many countries that are going to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with their reputations tarnished.
Some will be as a result of their mishandling of the virus, and the list of countries bungling their response grows by the day, as does the death toll.
Then there’s China, where the virus is believed to have originated, which has many tough questions to answer about their initial handling of the outbreak, and some of the decisions taken by President Xi Jinping (above).
More than 100 countries are now backing a Europen Union-drafted resolution at the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA), which calls for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic, and Australia is among those leading the charge.
China has hit back at Australia’s calls for the country to be scrutinised, calling it a “highly irresponsible” move that could “disrupt international cooperation in fighting the pandemic”.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) annual meeting begins today in Geneva, where a more neutral proposal is being put forward to investigate international health response to COVID-19, with that less aggressive approach necessary to get support from countries with strong ties to China.
Over to CNN:
The potential for an independent probe, even one not initially tasked with investigating an individual country’s response, to turn up damning or embarrassing information is great. Australian government sources told the ABC, the country’s public broadcaster, that the resolution’s language was sufficiently strong to “ensure that a proper and thorough investigation took place.”
Beijing has previously said it would only support an investigation held by the WHO, which has been accused of being overly influenced by China — a charge top WHO officials refute…
Any highly critical report could have a potentially disastrous effect on China’s global standing, which has already taken a major knock as a result of the coronavirus crisis, with the United States in particular pushing a narrative that Beijing is to blame for the pandemic.
That’s probably due in large part to the US government’s attempts to avoid taking any responsibility for bungling their own response, as their death toll passes the 90 000 mark.
Still, there is no doubt that an investigation is warranted, and some top Chinese officials have admitted that they initially downplayed the severity of the virus, but stopped short of taking further responsibility:
The suggestion that knee-jerk censorship or a deliberate coverup by Beijing enabled the virus to spread, first within China and then throughout the world, has been repeatedly and angrily refuted by Chinese officials. But this has nevertheless hurt the country’s global standing, with foreign politicians — particularly in the US but also in parts of Europe and the rest of the world — referring to the “China virus” or blaming Beijing for the chaos they are now dealing with.
We may never know just how much of a cover-up went on in the initial days and weeks of the virus’ spread, but it’s a little disingenuous of the US to lash out, when their own officials (and favourite media outlet) repeatedly downplayed the threat.
As for the US president – he can speak for himself.
Read the rest of that CNN article here.
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