The World Health Organization (WHO) is now haunted by a tweet it sent earlier this year when it cited Chinese health officials who claimed there had been no human transmissions of the novel coronavirus within the country yet.
The Jan. 14 tweet came less than two months before WHO declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic.
“Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China,” the organization had said.
It also relied on information from Chinese health authorities who have been accused of obscuring facts and figures during the course of the outbreak.
The Chinese government reportedly knew the disease was spreading before the tweet was sent, according to the South China Morning Post.
The New York Times’ China correspondent, Amy Quin, said Tuesday on Twitter that the country had begun expelling American journalists.
Axios reporter Jonathan Swan drew attention to Quin’s story on social media the next day and went on to criticize the Chinese government for instituting a cover-up, and failing to deliver life-saving information to the public.
“Terrible. We desperately need accurate reporting from China,” he tweeted. “The pandemic originated in Wuhan & was initially covered up by Chinese authorities. University of Southampton study found there would have been a 95 % REDUCTION in cases & less spread if Beijing intervened 3 wks sooner.”
“The world is directly affected by China’s domestic governance,” he added.”The suppression of doctors sounding the alarm, censoring of public health info online and now the expulsion of the journalists who are working to reveal what happened in the crucial early days of this pandemic.”
Fox News reached out to WHO to ask if they trust China’s statistics and to inquire about the timing of the tweet, but they did not respond to the request for comment.