By Jon Hall
Citing the Coronavirus outbreak, the State Department advised U.S. citizens to not travel to China for any reason – and for anyone currently in China to leave as soon as possible.
The State Department’s decision comes on the heels of the World Health Organization declaring the Coronavirus a global emergency. The declaration from the WHO seems suspiciously delayed – announced a full week after the virus accelerated spread in China.
However, if you look closer at the organization and its director, the head-scratching decision to wait so long starts to make sense.
To begin, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus covered up cholera outbreaks in his home country of Ethiopia. As reported by the New York Times all the way back in 2017, Ethiopian officials pressured aid agencies to avoid using “cholera” to describe outbreaks and to not report the number of people affected. Sound familiar?
Cholera bacteria were found in stool samples tested by outside experts. According to the United Nations, more assistance could have been focused on Ethiopia if the truth had been told.
Tedros claims that outbreaks that happened in 2006, 2009, and 2011 were only “acute watery diarrhea” in remote locations where lab testing was “difficult”. Per the New York Times, “Testing for Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which cause cholera, is simple and takes less than two days“.
Tedros outright denied the claims he covered up several epidemics – and bear in mind, Tedros is now acting as the director of the WHO. The same institution currently facing the strange and worsening Coronavirus. Another interesting factoid regarding the World Health Organization is that China is the second largest contributor to them for the year of 2020. Having given $28 million dollars to the WHO, China is only outpaced by the U.S. who gave $57 million to the organization.
There also seems to be a clear disconnect between the WHO and the U.S. State Department. The State Department issued a level 4 travel advisory – the highest possible level – warning American citizens to not travel to China. That announcement came just hours after the WHO chief claimed that travel restrictions against China were unnecessary despite the declaration of a global health emergency.
We are playing a tense and excruciating waiting game with lives hanging in the balance to see how the virus continues to fare in China and now, too, worldwide. With the virus appearing to spread more rapidly as time goes on, the WHO’s response has been to sit on their hands, hoping for the virus to stop its spread and simply go away.
If it continues to accelerate and spread in the other countries that have been confirming cases of the Coronavirus, the plain and obvious question on everyone’s mind will be: could more have been done in the beginning stages of this epidemic to curb it?