New Delhi 10th May 2020. The World Health Organization (WHO) denied a report that said Chinese President Xi Jinping pressured WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to conceal the truth about the coronavirus outbreak in a January phone call.
What was Der Spiegel’s report ?
According to media reports, Der Spiegel, a German news outlet, published a report this weekend that said Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (known as the “Bundesnachrichtendienst” or BND) found that China “urged” the WHO to “delay a global warning” about the coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, Der Spiegel’s report said the BND determined Xi and Tedros spoke by phone on Jan. 21 and the Chinese leader asked the WHO chief to “hold back information about a human-to-human transmission and to delay a pandemic warning.”
According to media reports, The newspaper said the BND “estimates” that China’s policy of concealing information about the coronavirus resulted in four to six lost weeks in the fight against the virus worldwide.
The WHO released a statement on Saturday denying the thrust of the article.
“WHO Statement on False Allegations in Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel reports of a January 21, 2020, telephone conversation between Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and President Xi Jingping of China are unfounded and untrue. Dr Tedros and President Xi did not speak on Jan. 21 and they have never spoken by phone. Such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic. To note: China confirmed human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus on Jan. 20. ”
Statement on False Allegations in @derspiegel: Reports of a 21 Jan phone call between @DrTedros & 🇨🇳 President Xi are unfounded & untrue. They didn’t speak on 21 Jan & have never spoken by 📞
Such inaccurate reports distract & detract from WHO's & the 🌍’s efforts to end #COVID19
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) May 9, 2020