Did Chinese President Xi Jinping phone WHO Secretary Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on January 21 to ask him to withhold information about a person-to-person transmission and to delay a global pandemic warning?
According to Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), it happened — but the World Health Organization, already battered on all sides by world criticism, is denying the accusation, Der Spiegel reported.
So says the BND, the WHO then remained silent for another week. According to the BND, at least four, if not six, crucial weeks would have been lost in Beijing’s ill-advised anti-virus campaign, the magazine reported.
The WHO clearly denies this report, however, claiming that Xi and Tedros would not have spoken that day.
They also “never spoke on the phone,” a WHO spokesman claimed.
“Such inaccurate reports are distracting from the efforts of the world and WHO to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Der Spiegel also reported that the BND had doubts about the US claim that the coronavirus had escaped from a Chinese laboratory, the report said.
According to der Spiegel, the BND asked all partners of the “Five Eyes” intelligence network, which includes the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, for evidence of the laboratory thesis distributed by the Americans.
None of the secret services wanted to confirm the thesis that, in addition to US President Donald Trump, was being backed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the report said.
Pompeo said last weekend that he saw “overwhelming evidence” for the laboratory thesis, but provided no proof.
In an internal note for German Secretary of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the US claims are now being classified as nothing more than a calculated diversion.
With the laboratory theory, the US president is trying to “distract from his own mistakes and direct the anger of the Americans towards China,” the confidential dossier stated.
The majority of scientists believe it is much more likely that Sars-CoV-2 has been transmitted to humans from bats via another host and through the wildlife trade, which China quickly banned with a new law in March.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus crisis has caused a major erosion of public support in Germany for its traditional allies in the US while feeding into a narrative of doubts about America and its president for its erratic, comedy of errors response, the South China Morning Post reported.
Covid-19 has claimed almost 320,000 lives worldwide — including 90,000 in the United States and 8,000 in Germany.
At the same time, German views of China have seen an improbable improvement in the months since the outbreak of the virus that was first detected, according to the surprising results of an opinion poll published in Berlin on Monday, SCMP reported.
“The image of the United States has worsened dramatically in recent months – not just in Germany but across Europe,” Thomas Jaeger, a political scientist at Cologne University, told SCMP.
“People are completely shocked by the way the United States has mishandled the crisis. They just can’t believe what they’re seeing. The one nation they thought they could always rely on for leadership and help isn’t even able to help itself. It’s a pitiful sight.”