The US’ threat to withdraw from the UN’s health body is just the latest attempt by the Trump administration to smear China’s fight against Covid-19 and shift the blame for the damage done by the virus, Beijing has said.
US President Donald Trump gave the World Health Organization (WHO) 30 days to enact “major substantive improvements” or face permanent defunding and a possible withdrawal by the US. The ultimatum came in an open letter, which accused the WHO of bowing down to China during its response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Beijing called the US’ move an attempt to slander it.
The letter “is filled with phrases of suggestions, maybes, and potentialities, and is trying to mislead the public through this specious method, to achieve the goal of smearing and slandering China’s efforts in epidemic prevention and to shift responsibility in its own incompetence in handling the epidemic,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a regular briefing on Tuesday.
Top officials in the Trump administration have subscribed to the theory that the coronavirus pandemic started as a leak from a virology laboratory in Wuhan, the city where the outbreak was first detected. While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was “abundant evidence” to support the claim, the public is yet to see any direct proof.
Washington also claims that Beijing has deliberately underreported the severity of the infection and had the WHO cover it up on its behalf, allowing the virus to spread all over the world. The disease hit the US hardest among the world’s nations, with the death toll rising above 90,000 this week. Critics of President Trump have accused him of botching the government’s response to the epidemic.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!