W.H.O.’s Tedros Again Trashes China Lockdowns After Beijing Insults, Censorship

Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delivers a st
ANDRE PAIN/AFP via Getty Images

World Health Organization (W.H.O.) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday repeated his organization’s judgment that China’s strategy of controlling the Wuhan coronavirus with harsh lockdowns is “not sustainable.”

“We know the virus better and we have better tools, including vaccines, so that’s why the handling of the virus should actually be different from what we used to do at the start of the pandemic,” Tedros said, alluding to China’s alleged ability to control the original Wuhan coronavirus pandemic with strict citywide lockdowns.

A girl looks from a window in a residential area on April 12, 2022 in Shanghai, China. Some 25 million people in Shanghai are in the second week of a strict lockdown, after a surge in Omicron cases. (Photo by Getty Images)

A girl looks from a window in a residential area on April 12, 2022 in Shanghai, China. (Getty Images)

The W.H.O. director said his organization has advised Beijing that the latest mutations of Chinese coronavirus are considerably different from the original strain, so different methods might be advisable to control new outbreaks but said that “regarding their choice of policies, it is up to every country to make that choice.”

The Associated Press

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a volunteer uses a megaphone to talk to residents at an apartment building in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Chen Jianli/Xinhua via AP)

Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the W.H.O. Health Emergencies Program, was more bluntly critical of China’s lockdown approach, which has inflicted horrific humanitarian and economic damage on cities such as Shanghai.

“A suppression-only strategy is not a sustainable way to exit the pandemic for any country,” Ryan said.

W.H.O. first labeled China’s lockdown policy “unsustainable” last week, a critique angrily dismissed as “irresponsible” by the Chinese Communist Party. China then ordered its massive censorship apparatus to delete posts quoting W.H.O. officials and photos of Tedros on Chinese social media.

Chinese officials on Wednesday insisted they are making progress against the presumed less lethal omicron variant in locked-down Shanghai, which will supposedly “resume normalcy in June” after some ten weeks of quarantine. The Chinese government responded to growing complaints about miserable living conditions in Shanghai by censoring the complaints.


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