US President Donald Trump has accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of mismanaging and covering up the spread of this coronavirus after it emerged in China.
He added he’d halt WHO backing while his government reviewed its activities.
Peter Piot, from London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said this would be”dangerous and short-sighted”
But does Mr Trump have some point regarding the WHO’s response to the virus?
What does the WHO do?
Set up in 1948, it is the portion of the UN responsible for international public health, co-ordinating health care campaigns, health crises and supporting states with primary health care.
It’s financed by charges and voluntary donations from the 194 member states, together with the US the largest single contributor.
Did the WHO don’t question China?
President Trump has accused the WHO of failing to challenge China’s early assertion there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus.
China first informed the WHO of”a pneumonia of an unknown cause, on 31 December”.
On 5 January, the firm said the information it had from China at the time revealed there was”no evidence of significant human-to-human transmission”.
And on 14 January, it records preliminary Chinese investigations had found”no obvious evidence of human-to-human transmission” of this new virus.
The same day, but the Wuhan Health Commission explained the possibility of restricted human-to-human transmission couldn’t be excluded, although the danger of sustained transmission was reduced.
Around precisely the same time, other WHO statements increased the chance of some human-to-human transmission, speaking to what was known about other coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).
And on 22 January, the WHO, after a short field trip, created a much clearer announcement human-to-human transmission was happening in Wuhan.
Then at the end of January, the WHO commended China for its efforts to contain the virus, including its”commitment to transparency”.
Did the WHO ignore experts from Taiwan?
Mr Trump said there was”credible advice to suspect human-to-human transmission in December”, an apparent reference to some warning Taiwan says it sent to the WHO.
Taiwanese scientists had visited Wuhan shortly after the virus first emerged.
But the evidence published so far shows Taiwan’s exchanges with the WHO did not mention human-to-human transmission.
Taiwan is not among those WHO’s me