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Observers have become “over-focused” on China and its coronavirus data, according to World Health Organization (WHO) official Dr. Michael Ryan.
Ryan defended China in a press conference on Thursday after a reporter asked him whether WHO has been “manipulated or taken for a ride” by accepting China’s data.
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“I think we need to be very careful also not to be profiling certain parts of the world as being uncooperative or non-transparent, and we need to look at transparency across the world,” Ryan said.
He claimed, for example, that there was a “lack of precise information from Italy,” the nation hardest-hit in Europe by the pandemic.
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“Are we saying they’re lacking transparency and not sending WHO all the data every day? No,” he continued. “Frankly, at times I think we get over-focused on this issue.”
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Ryan previously spoke out about the use of the term “Chinese virus,” saying it could lead to racial profiling against Asians when he saw “no blame in this,” meaning the origin of the virus, which was Wuhan, a city in China.
U.S. intelligence officials reportedly concluded that the Chinese government has not been transparent about its numbers and may have concealed the extent of the pandemic within its borders.
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Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., has called for a congressional hearing on the WHO’s ties to China.