An audit released Monday from the House Foreign Affairs Committee claims the coronavirus could have been prevented if China and the World Health Organization (WHO) didn’t cover up the early days of the outbreak.
In the 96-page report, which builds on the June report condemning China and the WHO for covering up the virus, the Foreign Affairs Committee alleges the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) destroyed evidence and hid data. The background overview of the report also claims China nationalized their supply chains and limited export to U.S. companies to keep essential items in the country.
The CCP allegedly harassed and detained journalists, scientists and healthcare professionals who tried to warn the world about the virus, according to the background overview. (RELATED: Twitter Suspends Chinese Virologist Who Accused China Of Hiding Evidence Of COVID Leaking From A Lab)
Disciplinary notice issued to a nurse in China for speaking about a COVID-19 outbreak to her classmates & family further shows the CCP’s efforts to silence whistleblowers and critics as the virus spread. Full report: https://t.co/AadfbiwVjE… pic.twitter.com/wJEUFEOXK7
— House Foreign Affairs GOP (@HouseForeignGOP) September 21, 2020
The report claimed thousands of lives could’ve been saved had China been more transparent.
“Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 percent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices,” the report said, citing a study on Medrxiv, a Yale University-linked online clearinghouse for medical manuscripts, according to the New York Post.
“It is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented,” the report said.
The overview said the CCP knew as early as mid-December that it was legally required to inform the WHO about the outbreak in Wuhan as an event “that may constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern” but that the CCP chose not to, violating international law.
The overview also implicates the WHO for allegedly being complicit in the spread of misinformation.
“The WHO has been complicit in the spread and normalization of CCP propaganda and disinformation,” the overview of the report said.
The WHO also ignored warnings from the Taiwan Centers of Disease Control and the Hong Kong government about human-to-human transmission, according to the overview.
“From the early stages of the outbreak, the WHO, under Director-General Tedros’ leadership, parroted and upheld as inviolable truth statements from the CCP,” the report said, per the NYP. “An examination of their public statements, including the praise heaped on the CCP’s handling of the pandemic, reveal a disturbing willingness to ignore science and alternative credible sources.”
This isn’t the first time China and the WHO have been accused of hiding the outbreak. Chinese leader Xi Jinping allegedly asked the WHO to delay the release of information regarding the outbreak, German intelligence concluded. Jinping allegedly requested on Jan. 21 that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus withhold information documenting human-to-human transmission.
The CIA has also been investigating China’s alleged coverup.
Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul said the evidence linking China to a coverup was “disturbing” in an official statement.
“We uncovered even more disturbing evidence about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) coverup and WHO Director General Tedros’s gross mishandling of the virus that allowed it to turn into a deadly pandemic,” McCaul said. “It is crystal clear that had the CCP been transparent, and had the head of the WHO cared more about global health than appeasing the CCP, lives could have been spared and widespread economic devastation could have been mitigated.”