WHO Says Removing Official From Website After Viral China Interview Was A Coincidence


Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Dr. Bruce Aylward is still employed at the World Health Organization and his page on the WHO website was removed “for no specific reason,” a WHO spokesman told the Daily Caller.

The website featured Aylward as recently as March 3, according to archived versions of the site, but he disappeared around the time he faced widespread criticism for parroting Chinese propaganda in a viral interview. Despite his disappearance from the website, he remains in his post as senior advisor to the WHO director-general and is currently assisting the Spanish government in its effort to combat the coronavirus, the WHO confirmed.

The WHO spokesman told theDC Aylward’s page was removed “for no specific reason, rather updated coincidentally.”

Aylward was thrust into the public spotlight last week after he appeared to pretend he couldn’t hear a reporter when she implied Taiwan was a separate country from China. He cancelled the call when she repeated the question.

Taiwan is one of the few Western-style democracies near China, and China’s communist government has long insisted that the international community treat Taiwan as a part of “greater China,” despite having separate governments.

The WHO complies and does not allow Taiwan to be a member state. The reporter asked whether that policy might change during the coronavirus pandemic. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Restructures Campaign Into Meals Effort For Kentuckians Affected By Coronavirus)

“Will the WHO reconsider Taiwan’s membership?” the reporter asked.

The footage shows Aylward initially doesn’t react, appearing to pretend he couldn’t hear the question. When the reporter prompts him again, he claims outright he didn’t hear the question, but quickly requests that she “move on to another one.”

When the reporter asks the question again Alyward cancels the call.

The outlet called him back, and he gave something of an answer. (RELATED: Pelosi Says Senate Coronavirus Bill Is Discriminatory To Residents In DC, One Day Before House Vote)

“Well, we’ve already talked about China. And when you look across all the different areas in China, they’ve actually all done quite a good job,” he said, before hastily ending the interview.

Aylward previously led a “fact finding” mission to China in February, where he praised China’s response to the virus.