WHO’s Tedros toughens stance vis-à-vis China

Public opinion has forced WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to talk tough against China over coronavirus origin

Ramdev Bakshi |

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

However hopeless a situation may be and however powerful evil seem to be, public opinion does matter and concerted efforts do yield results. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ somersault over China’s role in the novel coronavirus highlights this truth.

Tedros, who has been acting like Chinese President Xi Jinping’s lackey before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been forced to slam Beijing. The WTO boss yesterday favored more investigation into the possibility of the novel coronavirus springing from a laboratory—specifically, from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

This comes in the wake of the findings of international experts whom the WHO had sent to Wuhan this year to investigation into the coronavirus’ origins. The team had found the possibility of the virus escaping from the lab as “extremely unlikely.” This was in consonance with the WHO’s pro-China stance over everything related to the pandemic.

This time, however, the WHO’s shenanigans and machinations didn’t cut much ice. So, Tedros had to admit that the investigation into the Wuhan lab’s role in spreading the virus was not adequate: “I do not believe that this assessment [extremely unlikely for the virus to spring from the Wuhan lab] was extensive enough,” he informed 194 member countries of the UN health agency in a briefing over the coronavirus’ origins.

“Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions,” Tedros said. “Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy.”

He had to do the unthinkable—join the United States, Britain and Japan in asking China to be more transparent with the relevant data. Chinese Communist Party bosses must be squirming, for their most high-profile toady is questioning them.

It is, however, too early to celebrate; this surely is not a case of evil biting the dust. At worst, from Beijing’s perspective, Tedros’ treachery is little more than a public relations setback. But then CCP thugs are rarely bothered about what people say all over the world, so his new stance vis-à-vis China is unlikely to make things better.

Yet, the fact that Tedros has been forced to adopt this stance is testimony to the importance of public opinion.

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