The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is typically diplomatic and unwilling to point fingers at those responsible for the progression of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, during a Saturday appearance on Fox News, Fauci shocked the nation by agreeing with Trump that China’s “misinformation” about the virus early on warrants an investigation “when this is all over.”
Fauci stopped short of speculating about China’s motive behind holding back the truth about the danger coronavirus posed back in December and January, but made it clear that there was a mismatch between what China told the world and what actually ended up happening.
“[W]hen we finally did get the virus here, it [became] clear that when we started looking [at what] was going on, [that] was misinformation right from the beginning,” Fauci explained.
“So whose ever fault that was, you know, we’re gonna go back and take a look at that when this is all over. But clearly, it was not the right information that was given to us.”
Fauci also addressed the growing backlash against the World Health Organization, which appears to have favored China in dispersing information about the outbreak during those same months.
“You know, I don’t know where the missteps went,” Fauci hedged. “The only thing I know what the end result was that early on we did not get correct information and the incorrect information was propagated right from the beginning.”
“They said this was just animal to human, period. Now, we know retrospectively that there was ongoing transmission from human to human in China, probably at least a few weeks before then.”
WHO and China
The World Health Organization released an announcement on January 14th claiming, “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.”
However, Taiwanese doctors had already alerted the WHO to the strong likelihood of human-to-human transmission of the virus in December, as they had learned that colleagues on the mainland were falling ill after treating coronavirus patients.
The WHO ignored Taiwan’s warnings, instead, getting their (faulty) information from China. Researchers at the University of Southampton found in March that if China had acted several weeks earlier in suppressing the virus instead of the truth, up to 95% of global coronavirus cases could have been prevented.
The wheels are already turning in regard to holding both the WHO and China accountable, with a petition calling for WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s resignation already reaching one million signatures. The U.S. House Oversight Committee has also begun pressuring Tedros to answer for the organization’s preferential treatment of China.