From an Associated Press report yesterday. Someone at WHO is obviously leaking recording of internal meetings.
Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus and thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately.”
But in fact, Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the deadly virus for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it, not sharing details key to designing tests, drugs and vaccines. Strict controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were largely to blame, The Associated Press has found from internal documents, emails and dozens of interviews.
Health officials only released the genome after a Chinese lab published it ahead of authorities on a virology website on Jan 11. Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more on giving WHO the details it needed, according to recordings of multiple internal meetings held by the U.N. health agency in January — all at a time when the outbreak arguably might have been dramatically slowed.
Although WHO continued to publicly commend China, the recordings obtained by the AP show they were concerned China was not sharing enough information to assess the risk posed by the new virus, costing the world valuable time.