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Thread 🧵on how China kept WHO in the dark. It’s starting to emerge what really happened in Jan, via AP investigation.

Chinese officials failed to share the virus genome for >1week after decoding it and failed to reveal 🦠 had H2H for a further 2 weeks.…
2) The AP has found rather than colluding w/ China, WHO was itself largely kept in the dark, as China gave it only minimal info. The new info does not support the narrative of either US or China, but portrays an agency stuck in the middle urgently trying to solicit more data.
3) “We’re currently at the stage where yes, they’re giving it to us 15 minutes before it appears on CCTV,” said WHO’s top official in China, Dr. Gauden Galea, referring to the state-owned China Central Television, in one meeting.
4) 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.
5) Health officials only released the genome after a Chinese lab published it on a virology website on Jan 11. Even then, China stalled for >=2 weeks more on giving WHO details it needed, according to recordings of multiple internal meetings held by the U.N. health agency in Jan.
6) Chinese officials sat on releasing the genome of 🦠 for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it, not sharing details key to designing tests, drugs and vaccines. The Associated Press has found from internal documents, emails and dozens of interviews.
7) “WHO officials worried about how to press China for more information without angering authorities or jeopardizing Chinese scientists”. ➡️ This is key - as scientists’ lives were likely at stake if WHO acted too strongly. They needed information and needed to get it safely.
8) From the time the virus was first decoded on Jan. 2 to when WHO declared a global emergency on Jan. 30, the outbreak grew by a factor of 100 to 200 times.
9) China’s top medical authority, the National Health Commission, issued a confidential notice forbidding labs from publishing about the virus without authorization. The order barred Shi’s lab from publishing the sequence or warning of the possible danger.
10) By Jan. 5, two other govt labs sequenced 🦠, & another lab in Shanghai had also decoded it. Zhang warned the National Health Commission the virus was “likely infectious.” The Chinese CDC raised its emergency level to 2nd highest, but did not have authority to alert the public
11) In Thailand, airport officials pulled aside a woman traveling from Wuhan with a runny nose, sore throat and high temperature. Scientists in Thailand soon figured out she was infected with a new coronavirus, but did not have a 🧬 sequence to match it (Cuz it was 🇨🇳 suppressed)
12) “WHO officials, meanwhile, grumbled in internal meetings that China was stalling on providing crucial outbreak details even though it was technically meeting its obligations under international law” ➡️ WHO getting mad.
13) Dr Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergencies chief, said it was time to “shift gears” and push for more information.

“The danger now is that despite our good intent...there will be a lot of finger-pointing at WHO if something does happen,” he said.
14) On Jan. 11, Shanghai’s Zhang finally published the 🧬 sequence ahead of health authorities on It was only then that the Chinese CDC, Wuhan Institute of Virology and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences raced to publish their sequences on Jan. 12
15) BOTTOMLINE: it’s clear from AP investigation that WHO did not collude with China. WHO was completely kept in the dark by China. WHO was frustrated but it didn’t have enforcement powers to force China to provide timely info. China is at fault. WHO was not.
16) This brings us to funding WHO: if US wants more influence inside WHO and if we want WHO to be more empowered to stand up and demand action from China— then this is where Trump’s “America First” approach is not best. FUNDING the WHO is the much better way than defunding WHO.
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