House Republicans blame Chinese cover-up for coronavirus pandemic

Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday released their final report investigating China’s actions related to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, accusing Beijing of covering up the virus threat and faulting the World Health Organization for failing to push back. 

The 96-page report builds on interim findings released in June by Republicans, and largely backs President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE‘s argument that the COVID-19 pandemic could have been prevented if not for the actions of China.

The report accuses China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of destroying evidence, suppressing information about the virus spread and failing to notify the world of the first cases of the disease and under obligations of International Health Regulations. 

“In sum, the COVID-19 global pandemic could have been prevented if the CCP acted in a transparent and responsible manner,” the report states.

Ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulEngel subpoenas US global media chief Michael Pack Russia continues Navalny probe, wants to send additional investigators to Germany Pompeo says ‘substantial chance’ Navalny poisoning was ordered by senior Russian official MORE (R-Texas) repeated GOP calls for the resignation of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for the global health body’s response to the pandemic and its failure to censure China over its handling of the virus. 

“It is crystal clear that had the CCP been transparent, and had the head of the WHO cared more about global health than appeasing the CCP, lives could have been spared and widespread economic devastation could have been mitigated,” McCaul said in a statement. “Revealing the truth is just the first step; we must hold both the CCP and WHO Director General Tedros accountable for the suffering they have allowed the world to endure.”

The report is being released weeks before a presidential election where Trump’s handling of the pandemic is expected to be on voters minds. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll GOP set to release controversial Biden report Can Donald Trump maintain new momentum until this November? MORE has heavily criticized Trump’s actions, saying he has not listened to science and has given mixed messages on social distancing and the wearing of masks that could have reduced COVID-19’s effect on the nation. Polls show a majority of voters disapprove of how Trump has managed the pandemic.

Trump on Monday gave himself an “A+” on the his job performance on the coronavirus and has repeatedly cast the pandemic as a problem created by China. 

The U.S. is poised to record more than 200,000 deaths from the disease, a mark that could be hit any day.

The GOP report says China destroyed what could have been crucial evidence of the outbreak of the disease by

Read more

House GOP report says China cover-up and WHO failures worsened coronavirus pandemic

A new report from Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee contends the Chinese Communist Party’s alleged coronavirus cover-up and the World Health Organization’s actions allowed the coronavirus outbreak to grow into the lengthy and deadly pandemic that persists to this day.

The 90-page report, titled The Origins of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Including the Roles of the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization, is severely critical of both the Chinese government and the WHO’s leadership, noting that “research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95% had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices” and asserting that “it is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented” had China followed its obligations under the 2005 International Health Regulations and the WHO pushed China to be honest and transparent about the coronavirus.

“It is beyond doubt that the CCP actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world. They deliberately, and repeatedly, disregarded their obligations under the 2005 IHR,” the GOP report said. “Senior CCP leaders, including CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, knew a pandemic was ongoing weeks before it was announced. By responding in a transparent and responsible manner, the CCP could have supported the global public health response and shared information with the world about how to handle the virus. It is likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented had they done so, saving hundreds of thousands of lives and the world from an economic meltdown.”

The report continued: “The WHO has repeatedly parroted CCP talking points while ignoring conflicting information from reputable sources. Director-General Tedros [Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s] full-throated defense of the CCP’s early response and embrace of their revisionist history, as well as the impact of his actions on the global response, remains incredibly concerning.” The WHO later backtracked on its assertion that it had been alerted by the Chinese government about the coronavirus outbreak in July.

Johns Hopkins University as of Monday morning said there have been more than 31.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 961,000 coronavirus deaths worldwide, including more than 6.8 million cases and over 199,000 deaths in the United States.

There is evidence that China knew by late 2019 that human-to-human transmission was taking place, but on Jan. 14, the WHO tweeted: “Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.” As Tedros and the WHO publicly praised China’s response, internal recordings show WHO leaders privately complained about China’s opacity. In April, the U.S. intelligence community was reported to believe the Chinese Communist Party downplayed the outbreak and that China continued to mislead the world.

The GOP report highlights an ongoing controversy related to the WHO’s early response to the coronavirus outbreak, in which U.S. scientists were not part of the on-the-ground inquiry in Wuhan, China. The WHO-China

Read more