Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, didn’t hold back during an interview on Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Not only did he slam the World Health Organization but he also took aim at the Chinese government, saying that both stymied the global response to the novel coronavirus, allowing it to spread more dramatically across the globe, Chuck Ross at The National Interest reported.
“China was not truthful with the world at the outset of this,” Gottlieb said. “Had they been more truthful with the world, which would have enabled them to be more truthful with themselves, they might have actually been able to contain this entirely.”
Gottlieb, who left the Trump administration last year, said that the Chinese government delayed sharing two vital pieces of information that would have allowed other nations to prevent the spread of coronavirus: evidence that coronavirus could transmit through human-to-human contact and live samples of the virus, which allegedly began spreading from a wet market in Wuhan in November 2019, the report said.
“There is some growing evidence to suggest that as late as January 20th [Chinese officials] were still saying there was no human-to-human transmission, and the WHO was validating those claims on January 14th, sort of enabling the obfuscation of China,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb expanded on that same point in a separate interview Friday.
He told National Review’s Rich Lowry that Chinese officials were tracking outbreaks of coronavirus in Wuhan in December 2019 and knew that the virus displayed human-to-human transmission, the report said.
Had international officials known that the virus transmitted in that manner, they likely would have been better prepared for a possible pandemic, the report said.
“If they would have instituted steps then and been more forthcoming about what was happening then, this might have been an entirely avoidable world event,” he told Lowry.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, offered a similar critique of the Chinese government in a press conference on March 31.
“The medical community interpreted the Chinese data as, this was serious, but smaller,” she said. “Because, I think, probably we were missing a significant amount of the data.”
Gottlieb also said Beijing refused to share live strains of the virus, which delayed development of a test that could diagnose patients with Covid-19, the report said.
“The WHO should have made them do that,” Gottlieb said. “Had they done that earlier, we could have developed a diagnostic test earlier.”
Dr. Li Wenliang, a doctor who worked at Wuhan Central Hospital, raised alarm bells about the virus in late 2019, the Post Millennial reported.
He had contacted medical colleagues on December 30, but police instructed him to stay silent and to desist in “making false comments.”
He has since died from the illness, we have been told — suspiciously convenient for the Chinese government.
Only 34 years old at the time of his death, Dr. Li was aware of seven cases that resembled SARS, which was also a global pandemic in 2003, but of a lesser magnitude than the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.
It was also in late December that sick patients in Wuhan were tested by genomics companies, who noticed that there were similarities to the SARS virus, the Post Millennial reported.
The New York Post reports that the “researchers alerted Beijing of their findings — and on Jan. 3, received a gag order from China’s National Health Commission, with instructions to destroy the samples.”
China’s paranoid secrecy, may have doomed thousands of people around the globe.