A senior official with the World Health Organization faked internet connection issues and then abruptly ended an interview when confronted over the WHO's position on Taiwan.
In an interview that aired Saturday, a reporter with Radio Television Hong Kong interviewed Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom, and asked whether the WHO would reconsider its relationship with Taiwan in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Will the WHO reconsider Taiwan's membership?" the reporter asked.
Aylward responded by awkwardly staring into his camera for several seconds before saying, "I'm sorry, I couldn't hear your question."
When the reporter suggested repeating the question, Aylward said, "No, that's OK. Let's move to another one then."
However, the reporter persisted, telling Aylward that she is "really curious" to talk about Taiwan and how it responded to COVID-19. In response, Aylward abruptly ended the Skype call.
oh. my. god. https://t.co/GAwEj5yvT0— masks work (@masks work)1585400890.0
As the Washington Examiner noted, the reporter called Aylward back to press him further about Taiwan. In response, the Canadian doctor refused to acknowledge Taiwan's existence and again abruptly ended the interview.
"Well, we've already talked about China," Aylward said. "And you know, when you look across all the different areas of China, they've actually all done quite a good job. So, with that, I'd like to thank you very much for inviting us to participate, and good luck as you go forward with the battle in Hong Kong."
Taiwan reportedly informed the WHO in late December that China's communist government lied when it claimed that coronavirus could not be transmitted through human-to-human contact. The WHO broadcasted China's lie in mid-January, weeks after COVID-19 began rapidly spreading throughout eastern China.
The WHO ignored Taiwan because it sides with China in a geo-political dispute over Taiwan's sovereignty.
From the Financial Times:
Taiwan is excluded from the WHO because China, which claims it as part of its territory, demands that third countries and international bodies do not treat it in any way that resembles how independent states are treated.
The WHO's relationship with China has been criticised in the past, with some accusing the organisation of overly praising Beijing's handling of the coronavirus outbreak despite allegations local officials had initially covered it up.
Meanwhile, documented evidence suggests that Adhanom and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a symbiotic relationship.