Members named to panel probing WHO’s pandemic response


London, September 3

An impartial panel appointed by the World Health Organisation to evaluation its coordination of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic may have full entry to any inside UN company paperwork, supplies and emails obligatory, the panel stated Thursday because it begins the probe.

The panel’s co-chairs, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, introduced the 11 different members throughout a media briefing.

They embody Dr Joanne Liu, who was an outspoken WHO critic whereas main Medecins Sans Frontieres in the course of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Also named to the panel are Dr Zhong Nanshan, a famend Chinese physician who was the primary to publicly verify human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus; Mark Dybul, who led the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and David Miliband, a former British overseas secretary who’s CEO of the International Rescue Committee.

Clark stated she and Johnson Sirleaf selected the panel members independently and that WHO didn’t try and affect their decisions.

“We look forward to a period of intense work together at a key moment in history. We must honour the more than 25.6 million people known to have contracted the disease and the 850,000 and counting who have died from COVID-19,” Johnson Sirleaf stated.

The panel scheduled its first assembly for September 17 and plans to satisfy each six weeks between then and April. It expects to temporary WHO on the group’s preliminary progress in November earlier than presenting a ultimate report subsequent yr.

The WHO bowed to calls from most of its member states in May to launch an impartial investigation of the way it managed the worldwide response to the coronavirus after the United States accused the UN well being company of mismanaging the early part of the pandemic and colluding with China to cover the extent of the outbreak there.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the WHO earlier this yr after calling the company a “puppet” of China.

In June, the Associated Press discovered that China delayed releasing essential info to WHO, together with the virus’ genetic sequence, for weeks in January. Internal recordings of WHO conferences revealed officers have been pissed off on the lack of data-sharing whereas Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praised China for its pace and transparency.

To uncover how the worldwide response to COVID-19 was managed, “we may ask decision-makers what kept them up at night”, Clark stated.

The panel additionally plans to look at what WHO and nationwide governments might need executed otherwise had they recognized extra concerning the coronavirus.

She stated the WHO had “made it clear their files are an open book” and that the panel members would have entry to any inside paperwork or supplies they wished, though no such requests have but been made.

As a UN company, the WHO is just not topic to any freedom of knowledge requests and doesn’t routinely make its inside deliberations public.

The panel is financed by the WHO and has its personal workers in Geneva, led by Dr Anders Nordstrom, a former appearing director-general on the company. AP



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