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by Steve Sweeney
US REPUBLICANS have continued to stoke anti-China rhetoric over the coronavirus, as a senator demanded an investigation into the World Health Organisation over its “lies” in support of Beijing.
Republican Rick Scott demanded a Congressional inquiry, insisting that the body should be “held accountable for [its] role in promoting misinformation and helping communist China cover up a global pandemic.”
“As soon as Congress is back in session there should be a hearing, along with a full investigation, to review whether American taxpayers should continue to spend millions of dollars every year to fund an organisation that wilfully parroted propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr Scott said yesterday.
Republicans have been on the offensive over the virus, launching a wave of anti-China propaganda in order to undermine its efforts to control the pandemic.
President Donald Trump had frequently referred to Covid-19 as “the Chinese virus,” but swore himself off the term as the US became the new epicentre of the global pandemic, with nearly 200,000 confirmed cases — about twice as many as China had at its Covid-19 peak.
The WHO has hit back at the claims of bias, insisting that it has coordinated the response to the pandemic “in a transparent way” with “regular and frequent meetings and discussions between WHO leadership and technical experts from around the world, including US government officials.”
Medical experts, including WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have praised China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, which it managed to contain through locking down entire regions and with an aggressive contact-tracing programme, combined with early testing.
It is said to have bought months for other countries to prepare, which many squandered as they failed to take coronavirus as seriously.
The British government continually downplayed Covid-19 as low-risk and no worse than flu. In a series of astonishing daily press conferences, Prime Minister Boris Johnson performed a number of U-turns — telling the public that the science had changed despite warnings from medics as far back as January.
The first case was confirmed in Britain at the end of January, yet it took until March 9 for the first emergency Cobra meeting to be held.
Corporate media outlets are now questioning China’s role and seeking to undermine the credibility of the WHO.
Earlier this month it emerged that the WHO had been the attempted target of hackers, believed to be the DarkHotel collective.
The anonymous group, based in South Korea, frequently launches cyber-attacks on targets including government agencies and others in China, Russia and Japan.
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