A World Heath Organization official said that she suspected human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus "right from the start," a claim that runs counter to the guidance that the organization was giving to the rest of the world during the early moments of the pandemic.
The WHO has been heavily criticized by the Trump administration and others for repeating China's lies since the start of the pandemic as the Chinese Communist Party attempted to cover up the extent of the outbreak.
"Right from the start, from the first notification we received on the 31st of December, given that this was a cluster of pneumonia — I'm a MERS specialist, so my background is in coronaviruses and influenza — so immediately thought, given that this is a respiratory pathogen, that of course there may be human-to-human transmission," Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said Monday during a WHO press briefing.
Live from WHO Headquarters - coronavirus - COVID-19 daily press briefing 13 April 2020 youtu.be
That wasn't the WHO's story in January
If Dr. Kerkhove truly was confident that COVID-19 would spread through human-to-human transmission "right from the start" as she now claims, then the WHO had a funny way of disseminating that information.
On Jan. 12 — nearly two weeks after being notified about the outbreak — a WHO news release assured that "based on the preliminary information from the Chinese investigation team, no evidence of significant human-to-human transmission and no health care worker infections have been reported."
"At this stage, there is no infection among healthcare workers, and no clear evidence of human to human transmission," the news release added.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human tran… https://t.co/1GHUbI2YXm— World Health Organization (WHO) (@World Health Organization (WHO)) 1579000692.0
There were warning signs in December
Reports that the virus was spreading among Wuhan health care workers were already being circulated late last year. In December, doctors in Taiwan reportedly learned from colleagues in mainland China that medical workers were contracting the disease — which is a significant indicator of human-to-human transmission.
Additionally, an early study published in the Lancet on Jan. 2 found that only 27 of the 41 confirmed coronavirus cases in Wuhan had connections to the wet market where the virus purportedly started (though that claim is also highly dubious).
The Chinese Communist Party was attempting to control the information, however. Chinese citizen journalists and doctors, such as Li Wenliang and Ai Fen, who were attempting expose the truth about the highly contagious disease were reprimanded and silenced, and some even went missing.
Yet despite China's suspicious censorship activity and compounding evidence that human-to-human transmission had begun, the WHO joined China in misleading the global community for weeks about the virus. Taiwanese officials even alerted the WHO about the human-to-human spread, but they were ignored.
So why did the WHO "run interference" for China? Here's one possible reason.
(H/T: The Daily Caller)