KEY POINTS

  • China and WHO are to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic, contends a report from the House Foreign Affairs Committee
  • The World Health Organization was complicit in allowing China to mislead the world, the report claims
  • China and WHO need to be held accountable for “the suffering they have allowed the world to endure"

A scathing report from the House Foreign Affairs Committee claims the raging COVID-19 pandemic "could have been prevented" had China been more transparent and proactive when the first signs of the disease emerged in Wuhan in December 2019.

The report claims the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made things far worse by moving to hide the severity of the disease from the world. The CCP also took steps that eventually prevented other countries from effectively responding to the emerging health crisis, such as withholding exports of protective gear and equipment.

The 96-page report, which was written by the committee's Republican members, alleges China covered up the true extent of the outbreak in its early days. China also destroyed evidence proving the coronavirus originated in China, among other things.

The report contends the CCP quickly nationalized supply chains and curbed health equipment exports by 3M and General Motors, preventing face masks and other protective equipment exported from China at a time they were needed the most.

“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,” said the report.

Had China not engaged in those actions, "It is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented,” the report said.

It claims 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."

Republicans on the committee also assailed the World Health Organization (WHO) and its director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanon-Ghebreyesus, for abetting China's crimes.

“The WHO has been complicit in the spread and normalization of CCP propaganda and disinformation,” said the report. “Director-General Tedros should accept responsibility for his detrimental impact on the COVID-19 response and resign.”

The House report said WHO only publicly acknowledged  the outbreak in a pair of tweets on Jan. 4, five days after they learned about it from a Chinese report uploaded onto a US-based website for inside medical news.

Bereaved relatives of coronavirus victims in Wuhan want to sue the local government for concealing the outbreak when it first emerged there late last year, failing to alert the public, and bungling the response, allowing Covid-19 to explode out of control Bereaved relatives of coronavirus victims in Wuhan want to sue the local government for concealing the outbreak when it first emerged there late last year, failing to alert the public, and bungling the response, allowing Covid-19 to explode out of control. Photo: AFPTV / STRINGER

It said WHO and Dr. Tedros "parroted and upheld as inviolable truth, statements from the CCP. An examination of their public statements, including the praise heaped on the CCP’s handling of the pandemic, reveal a disturbing willingness to ignore science and alternative credible sources.”

Despite accumulating evidence WHO and the international community had been misled by China, Dr. Tedros praised China on its “transparency.” He declared a public health emergency on Jan. 30 when there were nearly 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 19 countries, including China and the U.S.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the committee's ranking member, said both Tedros and the Chinese government need to be held accountable for “the suffering they have allowed the world to endure."

“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,” said McCaul to the New York Post.