China’s state-run Global Times on Tuesday threw cold water on World Health Organization (W.H.O.) director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ hope that “2022 must be the year we end the pandemic.”

The Chinese propaganda paper emailed Tedros’ office to ask for specific details of W.H.O.’s plan to end the pandemic and reported no details were forthcoming.

Communist China risibly claims to have ended the pandemic within its borders over a year ago – all of its coronavirus outbreaks since then were supposedly caused by visiting foreigners, including the one that currently has 13 million people under lockdown in the city of Xi’an.

The Global Times quoted “Chinese observers” who said the pandemic will only end if W.H.O. can “play a leading role in ending vaccine inequity and developing more effective vaccines, truly unite member states and global scientists, and abandon politicization.” 

By “politicization,” the Global Times meant asking questions about where the coronavirus came from.

The Chinese paper lashed out at Tedros for daring to demand more “data and information related to the origin” of the pandemic, accusing him of working as a puppet for the United States by “raising the issue of the origin and attacking China” to help American officials “shift the blame of their failures in Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] response to China.”

“Even if the W.H.O. declared the end of the pandemic next year, it’s more about ending it politically rather than biologically,” an anonymous immunologist in Beijing said.

The Associated Press

In this Monday, March 9, 2020 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

The Global Times argued the fast-spreading, and apparently vaccine-resistant, omicron variant of Chinese coronavirus proves better vaccines must be developed and spread “equitably” around the world.

An inhaled vaccine being developed by Chinese academics and military scientists was touted as a superior medicine that “could both prevent infection and transmission.” 

Bringing this up in the middle of a furious rant against foreigners who ask tough questions about China’s role in releasing and spreading the coronavirus sounds like Beijing’s latest attempt to cajole the world into forgetting about those unsafe Chinese virology laboratories and their mysteriously disappearing data files.

“Obsessing over the origins of SARS-CoV-2 when the world is facing the rapid spread of the disease is actually politicizing the issue of the origins of SARS-CoV-2,” the Global Times concluded.

W.H.O. coronavirus expert Maria van Kerkhove was cautiously optimistic about effectively ending the pandemic next year in a December 14 article for Nature MedicineShe made some of the same points as Tedros, especially in her emphasis on resolving “inequitable access to vaccines, therapeutic agents, and diagnostics.”

Van Kerkhove lamented the “division and politicization” in various government responses to the pandemic, which is the sort of point China likes to seize upon to argue its authoritarian model is superior for addressing calamities like Chinese coronavirus.

After cautioning that vaccination may not be sufficient to control the coronavirus if it keeps spreading through large populations and mutating into vaccine-resistant strains, Van Kerkhove envisioned that growing “population level immunity” can substantially reduce “severe disease and death,” easing the strain placed upon health care systems by the pandemic and perhaps ending the state of health emergency in much of the world.

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