世界卫生组织必须向全世界做出交代的关键问题

杨建利博士与美国学者一起向世界卫生组织提出17个其必须向世界交代的问题,今天刊登在美国杂志《美国利益》,公民力量新闻组推出英文原稿和中译稿以飨读者。

 世界卫生组织必须向全世界做出交代的关键问题

“如果世界卫生组织还想保持信誉,就必须对这些问题进行公开详细地问答”

杨建利  Aaron Rhodes

(原文刊登在美國雜誌《美國利益》,中譯稿:Anna Yunpeng Chen)

鉴于围绕世界卫生组织(以下简称“世卫组织”)应对Covid-19的持续争议,我们将需要该组织回答的关键问题列出来,以便对该组织此方面的记录形成客观的评估。以下问题的提出基于对中文和公开资源的原始资料的研究。

世卫组织何时收到关于Covid-19的消息?

    据亲北京的《南华早报》 (该报的主人是马云,他是阿里巴巴的创始人,一名中国共产党成员)报道,中国武汉 covid19的第一个确诊病例出现2019年11月17日。但是根据世卫组织官方网站,它在12月31日才第一次收到来自中国的关于病毒爆发的报告。

 (https://www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-china/en/)

        在此之前,世卫组织是否收到或发现有关疫情的任何其他信息?如果是,世卫组织的如何应对的?中国当局在向世卫组织提交的第一份报告的内容是什么?世卫组织能公布中国首份报告?如果不能,为什么不能?

世卫组织是否意识到中国对关于Covid-19的研究和信息的压制?

    2020年1月1日,中国给世卫组织递交报告的第二天,武汉市卫健委下令第一家鉴定和测序病毒的公司停止测试,销毁所有样品,并对信息进行保密。两天后,中央卫生当局向全国的检测机构发布了一条类似的行政指令。对此,世卫组织是否了解? 如果世卫组织了解这些情况,那它对中国的掩盖又作出了何种反应?

世卫组织如何处置从台湾收到的关于Covid-19人际传播风险的信息?

    众所周知,2019年12月31日,台湾向世卫组织通报了这种新病毒的人传人风险。(https://www.ft.com/content/2a70a02a-644a-11ea-a6cd-df28cc3c6a68),我们不太清楚的是,世卫组织在收到来自台湾的警示后做了什么?世卫组织是否将这些预警传达给了其他国家?

世卫组织在否认该病毒可以人传人的同时,是否已经知道中国医生感染了Covid-19?

    与中国政府一样,在1月20日之前,世卫组织一直否认Covid-19在人与人之间传播的说法。但在1月1日至1月11日之间,已经有至少7名中国医生感染了该病毒((https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/69pdSrjNH_4qN3RrQ-Yk0Q)

世卫组织应该知道医生被感染是人际传播的重要明显指标。在此期间,世卫组织是否知道中国有医生被感染?还是中国当局没有通知世卫组织这些案例?

为什么世卫组织在确认了泰国于2020年1月13日发生Covid-19病毒感染病例后,继续否认该病毒可以人传人?

    世卫组织的官方时间线表(https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-04-2020-who.timeling–covid-19)记载,1月13日,“[该组织]官员确认了泰国的一例COVID-19病例,这是中国境外的首例有记录病例。”。那么,为什么世卫组织在1月14日的新闻发布会上继续声称没有证据显示病毒可以人传人、在中国或泰国也没有医生感染病例?( https://news.un.org/zh/story/2020/01/1049182)

为什么世卫组织没有去武汉访问最前线收治Covid-9病人的医院?

        1月20日和21日,在宣布武汉封城的前一天,世卫组织中国和西太平洋区域办事处的专家对武汉进行了一次简短的实地访问(https://www.who.int/china/news/detail/22-01-2020-field-visit-wuhan-china-jan-2020) 。代表团参观了武汉天河机场,中南医院,湖北省疾病预防控制中心,包括中国疾病预防控制中心(CDC) BSL3实验室。为什么代表团没有去武汉中心医院、金银滩医院、武汉肺炎医院等这些最前线收治感染者的主要医院?世卫组织是否向中国当局提出了进行此类访问的要求?

 世卫组织是否从中南医院院长王行环博士处得到了关于Covid-19传播的信息?

    1月19日,在世卫组织代表团访问的前一天,湖北省、武汉市卫健委领导来中南医院考察安排接待世卫专家时,卫健委的官员要中南医院人员“注意政治影响和说话方式”。王行环当即直接反驳说,“我一定会实话实说。你们难道忘记了沙士教训了吗?救人命是最大的政治,实事求是是最大的政治“。在世卫组织到中南医院考察的头天晚上,王行环还回绝了跟他相熟的省级领导要他注意政治影响的叮嘱。他对这位领导说,”真正的政治站位是要站在人民的立场上,站在党中央的全局高度立场上。”(http://www.rfi.fr/cn/%E6%94%BF%E6%B2%BB/20200413-%E6%8A%AB%E9%9C%B2%E6%AD%A6%E6%B1%89%E5%B0%81%E5%9F%8E%E5%89%8D%E5%86%85%E5%B9%95-%E6%9D%8E%E6%96%87%E4%BA%AE%E8%89%BE%E8%8A%AC%E4%B9%8B%E5%90%8E%E5%8F%88%E6%9C%89%E8%90%A7%E8%BE%89%E7%8E%8B%E8%A1%8C%E7%8E%AF)

     世卫组织能否公布1月20日王行环告知其代表团的信息内容?

1月20日当周就发生了武汉大规模逃离,为什么世卫组织要等到1月30日才宣布疫情为国际关注突发公共卫生事件,而3月11日才宣布为全球大流行?

         BBC健康报道的记者詹姆斯·加拉格尔1月18日发表报告,“中国新病毒将导致数百人感染”(https://www.bbc.com/news/health, 51148303)写道:“中国出现神秘病毒,感染人数远远大于官方数据显示,科学家们告诉BBC。目前已有60多例新冠状病毒确诊病例,但英国专家估计这个数字接近1700例。”

    世卫组织代表团访问武汉期间,急于躲避病毒的居民纷纷离开这座城市,前往中国的其他地区和世界各地。武汉市长周先旺在1月26日的新闻发布会上证实,上一周已有500多万武汉居民离开。世卫组织代表团是否知道这次大规模逃离?如果知道,为什么世卫组织要等到1月30日才宣布疫情为国际关注的突发公共卫生事件,而到3月11日才宣布为全球大流行?为什么在1月22日至23日的世卫组织会议上没有作出这样的决定?

1月28日,世卫组织总干事与习近平和中国其他高层领导人会晤时发生了什么?

        1月28日,由总干事谭德赛率领的世卫组织高级代表团访问北京,与中国领导人会晤,了解中国的抗议,并提供技术援助。谭德赛会见了中共中央总书记习近平和外交部长王毅,但没有会见中国中央防疫领导小组的组长、国务院总理李克强。谭德赛是否要求与李克强总理会晤? 谭德赛在中国了解到了什么?他的中国之行是政治之行的还是防疫专业之行?

鉴于中国对信息的压制、未能控制住Covid-9疫情传播,以及在报告Covid-9的性质方面的拖延,世卫组织总干事为什么还要赞扬中国的应对,甚至是“中国的制度”?

    1月30日,在宣布疫情为国际关切的突发公共卫生事件的新闻发布会上,谭德赛盛赞“中共体制的优势,”习近平的领导,中国的应对。“我从北京回来后已经多次说过,尽管中国政府采取了非常措施来控制疫情,尽管这些措施对中国人民造成了严重的社会和经济影响,但还是值得祝贺的。”他接着指出,“中国发现疫情、隔离病毒、测序基因组并与世卫组织和全世界分享的速度之快令人印象深刻,难以言表。中国对透明度和支持其他国家的承诺也是如此。在许多方面,不夸张地说,中国实际上正在为应对疫情制定新的标准。” (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/transcripts/ihr-emergency-committee-for-pneumonia-due-to-the-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-press-briefing-transcript-30012020.pdf?sfvrsn=c9463ac1_2)

   在同一次记者会上,他说:“让我澄清一点,这个声明不是对中国的不信任投票。相反,世卫组织仍然相信中国有能力控制疫情”。他似乎觉得有必要再补充一句:“我再重复一遍,让我澄清一下。这个声明不是对中国的不信任投票。相反。世卫组织继续相信中国有能力控制疫情。”

    鉴于上述列举的事实,世卫组织秘书长为何作出这种虚假报告?如果当时世卫组织没有意识到这些事实,那么现在世卫组织是否仍然坚持谭德赛在新闻发布会上所说的?他现在还相信中国致力于“透明”吗?为什么谭德赛赞扬中国并顺从中国?

为什么谭德赛在1月30日不建议甚至反对对中国进行边境和贸易限制?

在1月30日的会议上,谭德赛反复强调,世卫组织不建议也确实反对对中国的旅行和贸易进行任何限制。鉴于上面列出的信息,特别是1月26日武汉市长承认有500多万武汉居民逃离了这座城市,为什么谭德赛反对限制中国的入境和贸易?现在世卫组织承认这一判断是错误的吗?

为什么世卫组织在2月底仍继续反对对中国贸易和入境进行限制?

    经双方商定,中国与世卫组织召集中外专家组成联合调查团,对中国的疫情防控情况进行调查。从2月16日开始,联合考察团先后访问了北京、广东、四川、湖北武汉,于2月24日结束。在离开中国前,联合考察团的负责人Bruce Aylward博士(前世卫组织前助理总干事和总干事高级顾问),和国家卫生健康委员会COVID-19应对方案专家组组长梁万年博士在北京举行了新闻发布会。

(https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/transcripts/joint-mission-press-conference-script-english-final.pdf?sfvrsn=51c90b9e_2)

    在新闻发布会上,Aylward博士继续反对对中国旅游和贸易的限制。现在来看,世卫组织会认为这是明智的呢?

为什么中国-世界卫生组织联合调查团甚至没有检查武汉和其他地区的疫区?

        在2月24日的新闻发布会上,《华盛顿邮报》北京主任安娜·菲菲尔德(Anna Fifield)问Aylward,周末在武汉逗留后,他为什么没有被隔离。Aylward说,他没有去武汉任何“肮脏区”,那天早上他已经接受了冠状病毒检测。他随即离开中国而并没有被隔离14天。很明显,Aylward所说的“肮脏区”是指感染区。

   为什么世卫组织负责研究和调查病毒暴发的专家没有前往感染区?(世卫组织2020年1月20日至21日访问武汉的代表团似乎也没有去“肮脏区”。)参加这次任务的世卫组织专家是否可以自由选择去哪里访问、去哪家医院进行研究,以及与哪些人——医生、受感染者、死者家属或街上的人——进行交谈?还是完全由中国政府安排?

为什么未去感染区考察的世卫组织官员Bruce Aylward博士对中国抗疫大加吹捧又回避真实的问题?

在同一场新闻发布会上,尽管没有亲眼看到中国武汉和其他地方的感染区,但Dr. Aylward却对中国在控制病毒方面取得的成功大加赞赏。但当一名BBC记者问道,他认为掩盖和信息审查在多大程度上导致了病毒的加速传播时,他回答说:“坦白地说,我不知道,我没有注意到这一点。我只是实话实说……”

        这次记者招待会的目的之一是为全球防疫提出建议。那么,为什么肩负这一使命的专家不去研究某个国家或另一个国家所犯的错误呢?为什么Aylward试图回避这个问题?现在世卫组织认为他的做法合适吗?

为什么世卫组织直到3月11日才宣布Covid-19为全球大流行? 3月初,Dr. Aylward为什么继续宣称Covid-19不是全球大流行?

    在此次新闻发布会上,Dr. Aylward还说,“因为我们每天都停下来思考这种疾病,并做出决定,不管我们是否应该这样做,病毒会乘机使感染的病例翻倍的增长。我们必须加快行动”。这表明他懂得快速反应至关重要。到3月4日,许多国家的病例数和死亡人数激增,病毒早已符合人际传播、高致死率等全球大流行的标准。然而,3月4日,在接受《纽约时报》记者Donald McNeil采访时,他仍说:“我们没有全球性大流行。”(https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/04/health/coronavirus-china-aylward.html)

世卫组织是否已经进行模型计算,来估计如果更早宣布Covid-19为国际关切公共卫生紧急事件、更早宣布其为全球大流行,可以挽救多少生命?

最后,世卫组织是否认为有责任协调所有受感染国家组成一个可信的、独立的科学团队,对Covid-19的起源进行调查?

        新型冠状病毒的起源一直是各国激烈争论和指责的焦点。这是首要问题,全世界的公民都在关切。这个问题最终是一个科学问题,与世卫组织的使命相一致。世卫组织能够履行它的职责吗?

Can the WHO Deliver?

Key Questions for the World Health Organization

By Jianli Yang and Aaron Rhodes

If the WHO is to remain a credible organization, it must answer these questions—publicly and in detail.

In view of ongoing controversies surrounding the World Health Organization’s response to COVID-19, we have isolated the most important questions that need to be answered in order to form an objective assessment of the organization’s record. These questions are formulated on the basis of research on Chinese and other open sources.

When did the WHO receive information about COVID-19?

According to the pro-Beijing South China Morning Post, owned by Jack Ma (owner of the firm Alibaba and a member of the Chinese Communist Party), the first case of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, was confirmed on November 17, 2019. But according to the official website of the WHO, it first received a report from China about the virus outbreak on December 31.

Before that date, did the WHO receive or discover any other information about the outbreak? If so, what was the organization’s reaction? What did Chinese authorities say in their first report to the WHO? Can the public see that report? If not, why not?

Was the WHO aware of China’s suppression of research and information about COVID-19?

On January 1, 2020, the day after China’s report, Hubei province health authorities ordered the company that first identified and sequenced the virus to stop testing, destroy all samples, and keep information secret. According to press reports, two days later, central health authorities issued a similar official order to testing facilities across the country. If the WHO was aware of these things, how did it react to China’s cover up?

What did the WHO do with information received from Taiwan about the risk of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19?

It is now well-known that on December 31, Taiwan alerted the WHO about the risk of human-to-human transmission of the new virus. What is less known is what the WHO did upon receiving the alert from Taiwan. Did the organization pass on the concerns to other countries?

Was the WHO aware of Chinese doctors becoming infected with COVID-19, even as the organization denied that the disease could be transmitted between individuals?

Like the Chinese government, the WHO officially denied until January 20 that COVID-19 could be transmitted from human to human. But between January 1 and January 11, at least seven doctors contracted the virus. The WHO was presumably aware that infected doctors are the most telling indicator of human-to-human transmission. Was the WHO aware of doctors infected in China during this time? Or did Chinese authorities not inform the WHO of these cases?

Why did the WHO continue to deny human transmission after confirming a case of COVID-19 in Thailand on January 13, 2020?

The WHO official timeline records that on January 13,  “Officials confirm a case of COVID-19 in Thailand, the first recorded case outside of China.” Why then did the organization continue to claim at its January 14 press conference that there was no evidence showing human-to-human transmission, and no case of doctors infected in China or Thailand?

Why didn’t the WHO visit Wuhan hospitals where COVID-19 patients were being treated?

On January 20 and 21, a day before the Wuhan lockdown was declared, WHO experts from its China and Western Pacific regional offices conducted a brief field visit to Wuhan.) The delegation visited the Wuhan Tianhe Airport, Zhongnan Hospital, the Hubei provincial Center for Disease Control (CDC), including the BSL3 laboratory in China’s CDC. Why did the delegation not visit Wuhan Central Hospital, Jinyintan Hospital, or Wuhan Pneumonia Hospital—that is, the main hospitals treating infected patients? Did the WHO request such visits?

Did the WHO receive information from Zhongnan Hospital head Dr. Wang Xinghuan about the spread of COVID-19? 

On January 19, the day before the WHO delegation’s visit, top Wuhan public authorities came to inspect Zhongnan Hospital, and instructed the hospital administrators and professionals to be “mindful of political implications about what you are going to say to WHO.” The hospital head Dr. Wang Xinghuan responded that, “I must tell them the truth. Have we learned any lesson from SARS? Saving lives is the biggest politics, so is telling the truth.” That night, worried that Wang would reveal what he knew, the city government sent an official “friend” to talk to him. Wang told the “friend” that political integrity “requires us to stand with the people, which is good for the Party’s overall image.” Can the WHO reveal what Dr. Wang told the delegation on January 20?

Given of the massive evacuation from Wuhan on the week of January 20, why did the WHO wait until January 30 to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)?  

BBC health reporter James Gallagher’s January 18 report begins: “The number of people already infected by the mystery virus emerging in China is far greater than official figures suggest, scientists have told the BBC. There have been more than 60 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, but UK experts estimate a figure nearer 1,700.”

During the WHO delegation’s visit in Wuhan, residents desperate to avoid the virus were scrambling to leave the city for destinations in China and throughout the world. Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang confirmed at a January 26 press conference that more than five million Wuhan residents had left in past week. Was the WHO delegation aware of this mass evacuation? Why was a PHEIC declaration not made at the WHO’s meeting on January 22-23?

What took place when the WHO’s Director-General met with Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping and other top Chinese leaders on January 28?

On January 28, a senior WHO delegation led by Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus traveled to Beijing to meet China’s leadership, learn more about China’s response, and offer technical assistance. 

Tedros met with Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, but did not meet with the official head of the Chinese government’s response, Premier Li Keqiang. Did Tedros request a meeting with Li? What did Tedros learn in China? Was his trip political or professional in nature?

Given China’s suppression of information, failure to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, and delays in reporting on the nature of COVID-19, why did the WHO’s Director-General praise the Chinese response and, indeed, the “Chinese system”?

In the January 30, at the WHO news conference to declare the outbreak a PHEIC, Tedros hailed “the advantage of the CCP system,” Xi Jinping’s leadership, and China’s responses: “As I have said repeatedly since my return from Beijing, the Chinese government is to be congratulated for the extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak, despite the severe social and economic impact those measures are having on the Chinese people.” He went on to note that

“the speed with which China detected the outbreak, isolated the virus, sequenced the genome, and shared it with WHO and the world are very impressive, and beyond words. So is China’s commitment to transparency and to supporting other countries. In many ways, China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response, and it’s not an exaggeration.”

At the same conference, he said, “Let me be clear. This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have the confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.” He seemed to feel the need to add later: “I’ll repeat this. Let me be clear. This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary. WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.”  

Given the facts laid out above, why did the WHO’s Director-General make such false claims? If the WHO was unaware of these facts at the time, does it now still stand by what Tedros said at the news conference? Does he still believe China was committed to “transparency”? Why did Tedros praise and defer to China?

Why didn’t Tedros recommend restricting Chinese travel and trade on January 30?

At January 30 conference, Tedros repeatedly stressed that the WHO did not recommend—and indeed opposed—any restrictions on Chinese travel and trade. Given the above information, and especially the Wuhan Mayor’s admission on January 26 that more than five million Wuhan residents had escaped the city, why was Tedros opposed restrictions on Chinese travel and trade? Does the WHO now admit that this judgment was incorrect?

Why did the WHO continue to oppose restrictions on Chinese trade and travel through the end of February?

As agreed by the two sides, China and the WHO convened Chinese and foreign experts to form a joint mission to investigate epidemic prevention and control in China. Starting on February 16, the joint mission visited Beijing, Guangdong, Sichuan, and Wuhan of Hubei province successively, ending on February 24.

The team leaders of the joint mission—Dr. Bruce Aylward, former WHO Assistant Director-General and senior advisor to the Director-General, and Dr. Liang Wannian, head of the Expert Panel on COVID-19 Response of China’s National Health Commission—held a press conference in Beijing before Aylward left China. At the press conference, Aylward continued to oppose restrictions on Chinese travel and trade. In retrospect, does the WHO think this was sensible?

Why didn’t the joint China-WHO mission inspect the infected areas of Wuhan?

At the end of the February 24 press conference, Washington Post Beijing bureau chief Anna Fifield asked the WHO’s Dr. Aylward why he was not in quarantine after staying in Wuhan over the weekend. Aylward said he didn’t go to any “dirty” areas in Wuhan and that he had been tested for the coronavirus that morning. He left China immediately without quarantining himself for 14 days. It is obvious that by “dirty areas,” Aylward meant infectious areas. 

Why did the WHO experts on the mission to study and investigate the viral outbreak not go the infected area? (The WHO delegation visiting Wuhan on January 20-21, 2020, also does not seem to have gone to “dirty areas.”) Did the WHO experts on the mission have freedom to choose where they went, what hospitals they studied, and what people to talk to—doctors, the infected, relatives of the deceased, or people on streets for that matter? Or was the mission itinerary and agenda dictated by the Chinese authorities?

Why did the WHO’s Dr. Aylward lavish praise on China’s putative success in containing COVID-19?

At the same press conference, and without having personally seen infected areas of Wuhan and other places in China, Aylward lavished praise on the government’s success in containing the virus. But when a BBC reporter asked him to what extent he thought a cover up and censorship played a role in allowing the virus to accelerate at the rate that it did, he replied, “I don’t know, frankly, didn’t look at that. I’m just being completely honest. . . .”

One purpose of the press conference was to make recommendations for a global response. Why, then, did an expert charged with that task not consider whether China or any country had made mistakes? Why did Aylward try to avoid that question? Does the WHO now think this approach was appropriate?

Why did the WHO wait until March 11 to declare COVID-19 a global pandemic? Why did Dr. Aylward continue to minimize the scope and threat of COVID-19?

At the press conference, Dr. Aylward also said, “Because every day we stopped to think about this disease and make decisions, should we do it or not, this virus will take advantage and almost double the number of cases. We have to move fast.” This shows that he understood the vital importance of speed. By March 4, as the number of cases and death toll soared in many countries, it had long met the criteria of transmission between people, high fatality rates, and worldwide spread.  Yet on March 4, in an interview with New York Times reporter Donald McNeil, he said, “We don’t have a global pandemic.” 

Has the WHO run models to estimate how many lives could have been saved if it had acted more quickly to declare COVID-19, respectively, a public health emergency of international concern and a global pandemic?

Finally, does the WHO believe it has a duty to coordinate all affected countries to form a credible, independent scientific team to conduct an investigation into the origin of COVID-19?

The origin of the novel coronavirus has been at the center of a maelstrom of debate of accusations between countries. This is a first-order of question, and one that concerns all the citizens of the world. The question is ultimately a scientific one, and consistent with the organization’s mandate. Can the WHO deliver?

Jianli Yang is founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China. 

Aaron Rhodes is president of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe, human rights editor of Dissident Magazine, and the author of The Debasement of Human Rights (Encounter Books, 2018).

YANG Jianli – 楊建利
President & Founder – 發起人
Citizen Power Initiatives for China – 公民力量
Office: 202-827-5762
Direct: 857-472-9039
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