Canada should end travesty of ‘WHO-bashing’ campaign

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/4 18:16:31

Editor's Note:

Canada recently joined a chorus initiated by the US questioning the WHO’s role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian House of Commons Health Committee on Thursday decided to issue a formal summons to Bruce Aylward, one of the WHO’s Canadian senior advisers, to testify on the group’s “contested response” to COVID-19. The move comes after US Senator Todd Young sent a letter to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to express “deep skepticism” about the WHO’s guidance on COVID-19 and “concern of China’s influence in the organization.” What do the summons issued by Canadian MPs mean? Two experts shared their insights with the Global Times.

Photo taken on Jan. 30, 2020 shows the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.(Xinhua/Chen Junxia)


Shen Yi, director, Fudan University's Research Center for Cyberspace Govern-ance  

Canada is again becoming an accomplice in the US “buck-passing” campaign and scapegoating either WHO or China for its flawed handling of the epidemic to cover up its systematic loopholes. 

By exerting pressure on high-level medical expert Bruce Aylward, some Canadian politicians fawned on the US by expressing their dissatisfaction with the WHO and expressed doubts about China’s dealing of the epidemic in the earlier stages. 

Like the US, Canada acts like a country with a self-centered “giant baby” mentality who refuses to accept the fact which it is unwilling to believe. 
The coronavirus had struck a blow to their once vaunted “superior” capabilities in responding to public health crises. The death rate from the coronavirus in Canada, higher than that of China, crushed their illusions and sense of superiority.

Canada’s deep skepticism reflects its extreme ideological anxiety and frustration.

The politicians wasted precious time from their early ignorance of the Chinese experience to the current blame game played by Western political parties, which is a common practice in the US and Canada.

Their narcissistic views of their own system led them to expect that all things can go in line with their imagination. If not, they will suspect that there must be something wrong. They are still reluctant to wake up even though such blind confidence has dragged them into chaos and made them bear the consequences.

They are pointing a finger at a renowned epidemiologist who led a group of WHO experts to China for a joint mission on COVID-19 in February because Aylward revealed some facts those politicians long balked at.

Aylward praised China’s coronavirus prevention work, saying potential patients were well-organized and tested quickly at a press conference in Beijing in February.

But some in Canada continue to hold on to their prejudice against China, ignoring some of the key elements of China’s success in fighting the epidemic, which Aylward summarized and applauded.

Canada should invite Aylward back to the country for more experience sharing and consultations, but not for being blamed for its own mismanagement. 

Qian Hao, director of the Canada Research Center at Shanghai International Studies University

The Canadian MPs’ summons are understandable as Canada is desperate for first-hand information and are deeply worried about the expanding risk in the US, which has been worst hit by the virus. 

The motion was largely the result of a tradeoff and balance between the Canadian ruling and opposition parties, as the vote was primarily initiated by the Conservative Party, and New Democratic Party Parliament members who are part of the main opposite party wanting to have their voices heard by their voters. Moreover, being pro-US has long been a sentiment of the conservative party and middle-class elites in Canada. If you read conservative newspapers in Canada, you will see the vocal criticism against China.

But I don’t think this summons is targeting China, considering the ties between the two countries are thawing and the two countries’ scientists are working together to fight the virus. 

What Canada truly wants is more convincing instructions on COVID-19. China does not have to be nervous about the suspicions, as both the WHO and China have shown the world how their judgment and treatment are practical and valuable. The truth is in the scientists’ hands, not politicians’.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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