China withheld data on coronavirus from WHO, recordings reveal
Complaints by officials at odds with body’s public praise of Beijing’s response to outbreak
The World Health Organization struggled to get needed information from China during critical early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to recordings of internal meetings that contradict the organisation’s public praise of Beijing’s response to the outbreak.
The recordings, obtained by the Associated Press, show officials complaining in meetings during the week of 6 January that Beijing was not sharing data needed to evaluate the risk of the virus to the rest of the world. It was not until 20 January that China confirmed the coronavirus was contagious and 30 January that the WHO declared a global emergency.