The reliably left-leaning, usually critical of the USA publication, The Guardian, a British publication self-described as a bastion of independent journalism, is of course dissing President Trump for his, in my opinion, overdue move: Donald Trump found himself isolated among western leaders at a virtual G7 summit, as they expressed strong support for the World Health Organization after the US’s suspension of its funding. Health officials around the world have condemned the US president’s decision to stop his country’s funding for the UN agency, amid a crisis that has left more than 2 million people infected and almost 140,000 dead. On Thursday, G7 leaders voiced their backing for the WHO and urged international co-operation. The White House insisted there was support for US criticism of the WHO in the G7 call, saying “much of the conversation centred on the lack of transparency and chronic mismanagement of the pandemic by the WHO. The leaders called for a thorough review and reform process.”
The US is the largest donor to the WHO, providing about $400m annually, but WHO director general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was unwilling to confront the Chinese at the start of the outbreak. Absolutely true. In fact, Tedros, who owes his position to China, has been carrying the proverbial water for China from the beginning of the epidemic. Plus, anyone with a name like that must have a massive inferior complex. He might be either corrupt or dumb? Why do I write that? Let’s see what his own countrymen think of him:
Alemayehu G. Mariam writes in pambazuka.org: Last week, Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization, nominated Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old president of Zimbabwe as that organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Noncommunciable Diseases, a position currently held by former N.Y. City mayor Michael Bloomberg. WHO ambassadorships are often given to “well-known personalities from the worlds of arts, literature, entertainment, sport or other fields of public life who commit to contribute to WHO’s efforts to raise awareness of important health problems and solutions.” What kind of a moron appoints Robert Mugabe as goodwill ambassador for health? That is what the new Ethiopian-born Director General of the World Health Organization did – sparking global consternation. The appointment, now reversed, underlines one fact: Tedros Adhanom lacks what it takes to head even a village clinic. In announcing Mugabe’s ambassadorship, Adhanom said, “I am honored to be joined by President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, a country that places universal health coverage and health promotion at the center of its policies to provide health care to all.”
He said during a speech in early February that the spread of the coronavirus outside China could be “controlled easily,” thanks, in part, to the Chinese government’s efforts to contain the virus. He made the claim during a speech before the WHO executive board on Feb. 3, a week after he had met in person with Chinese President Xi Jinping. At the time of his speech, there were 151 confirmed coronavirus cases and one death outside of China.
“I was very impressed in my meeting with President Xi at his detailed knowledge of the outbreak, his personal leadership, and his commitment as reflected in the words he told me,” Tedros said, adding that Xi told him: “We will take serious measures at the epicenter, at the source, in order to protect our people, and also to prevent the spread of the virus to other countries.” Tedros also told the WHO executive board that the public health emergency of international concern that he had declared four days prior was issued primarily due to signs of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus outside China and over concern about what could happen were the virus to spread in countries with weak health systems.
However, by the time Tedros gave his speech, the wheels for a global coronavirus pandemic were already set in motion, due in large part to the Chinese government’s well-documented efforts to cover up its existence when the disease first began spreading in Wuhan in late December. As we know by now, some of the first doctors in the city to raise an alarm about the virus were reprimanded by authorities for spreading rumors. The Chinese government delayed acting on combating the virus and even coming to terms with the danger posed by the virus. Top Chinese officials had secretly determined by Jan. 14 that they were likely facing a pandemic in Wuhan from the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press. That same day, the WHO tweeted that Chinese authorities “have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of the coronavirus. Xi waited until Jan. 20 to warn the public about the outbreak, the AP reported. More than 3,000 people in China became infected with the virus during the Chinese government’s six-day delay.
The Guardian goes on:Other G7 leaders harbor doubts about aspects of the WHO’s role and China’s response to the coronavirus, but argue that the middle of the coronavirus pandemic is the wrong moment to disrupt the organisation’s leadership by blowing a surprise hole in its finances. With the US acting as the current chair of the G7, and facing criticism of America’s global leadership, Trump had convened the special meeting of the G7 leaders, a grouping of mainly western leading economies that, unlike the larger G20, excludes both Russia and China. The UK was represented on the call by the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, who is still standing in for Boris Johnson as the prime minister recovers from coronavirus. He said once the outbreak is controlled “we cannot have business as usual and must ask the hard questions about how it came about. There needs to be a very deep dive and review of the lessons including the outbreak of the virus.”
Meanwhile, under the guise of “quality control” to protect the world (from the virus China unwittingly unleashed), China is delaying shipping of products made for U.S. companies. About 1.4 million coronavirus test kits made by Massachusetts-based PerkinElmer are not able to leave the company’s Suzhou factory under the new restrictions, according to a State Department document obtained by the Wall Street Journal. The document also noted that Minnesota-based 3M was told by a Shanghai vice mayor that Shanghai “relies on 3M’s locally produced N-95 respirators for its Covid-19 prevention efforts and lacks viable alternatives.” Lifting the restrictions would require permission from the upper echelons of the Chinese government, the mayor indicated, according to the State Department.
General Electric was able to extract its shipment of parts needed to make ventilators after days of negotiations. Other companies, however, have not been able to do the same. Healthcare logistics company Owens & Minor, hospital operator Emory Healthcare, and biotech company Cellex have been unable to ship their medical equipment, which includes N95 face masks, isolation gowns, and coronavirus antibody tests. China’s rules governing exports “disrupted established supply chains for medical products just as these products were most needed for the global response to Covid-19,” one of the State Department documents said. Beijing has said the rules were meant to ensure quality control of medical products and to prevent necessary items from leaving China
China steals a lot of U.S. technology, but their originality knows no bounds when it comes to surveillance (and oppression) tech. Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are being equipped with a high-tech helmet that could quickly identify people suffering from coronavirus, it is claimed. The Chinese-made helmet, resembling technology seen in the Robocop films, was originally designed to find criminals through facial recognition and read car number plates automatically. But the UAE Interior Ministry’s official “Happiness and Positivity Council” (not scary at all) said it would now be repurposed to remotely monitor people who may have Covid-19, by checking their body temperature with thermal cameras from up to five metres (16 feet) away. The helmets were designed by Kuang-chi technology, based in Shenzhen, in southern China’s Guangdong province, and have been used in several Chinese cities including Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen.
The Guardian’s latest headline: China denies cover-up as Wuhan coronavirus deaths revised up 50%. And here I thought use of “Wuhan” or “China” in referring to CoVid-19 was a no-no! “Revised upward by 50%?” Now it’s accurate? Nope, try revising upward 900%. That’s more like it.
(If you’ve never seen the Abbott and Costello skit “Who’s On First”, check it out on YouTube. It is one of the all-time greats. Who doesn’t need a laugh right now?)