January 5, 2021 | The Hill

Confronting China’s COVID con

January 5, 2021 | The Hill

Confronting China’s COVID con

Excerpt

It has been more than a year since initial reports began surfacing about a mysterious virus spreading throughout central China. Yet millions of lives lost and trillions of dollars later, the world is no closer to understanding COVID-19’s origins. If the Chinese government get its way, namely by exerting pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to limit the UN body’s investigation into the outbreak, we may never learn the truth.

One thing is clear: It is high time to put an end to China’s ongoing cover-up and to demand increased transparency from both Beijing and the WHO, whose reputations have suffered on account of their flawed pandemic responses. The real question is whether the WHO’s principal funders — Germany, Australia, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom — can foil China’s subterfuge before a WHO-led investigatory delegation arrives in China in a few weeks.

For months, governments and virus experts have been calling for a probe into China’s initial COVID-19 deceptions. Media leaks detailing a massive cover-up by the Chinese government at the onset of the pandemic have fueled these demands, in part because Beijing’s methods closely mirrored tactics China employed in 2002-2003 to conceal SARS. Meanwhile, as the virus began wreaking havoc around the world, the WHO’s leaders issued a series of baffling public statements praising China’s pandemic response, all the while privately expressing serious reservations among themselves about Beijing’s veracity.

Craig Singleton is a national security expert and former diplomat who currently serves as an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) for its China Program. FDD is a nonpartisan think tank focused on foreign policy and national security issues.

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Issues:

China COVID-19 International Organizations