Coronavirus pandemic likely 'could have been prevented' if China, WHO acted differently, report says

Republican lawmakers calling on WHO's leader to resign

The coronavirus pandemic likely “could have been prevented” if the Chinese government acted more transparently and the World Health Organization wasn’t “complicit in the spread and normalization” of their propaganda during the outbreak’s early days, an audit from the House Foreign Affairs Committee reportedly says.

The 96-page document authored by Republicans in the committee -- which the New York Post says it exclusively obtained Monday before its planned release -- also reportedly calls for the resignation of WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom over his “detrimental impact on the COVID-19 response.”

“It is beyond doubt that the Chinese Communist Party actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world,” it said, according to the New York Post.

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“Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 percent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices,” it added, while also saying “it is highly likely the ongoing pandemic could have been prevented.”

The report says on Jan. 1, Chinese officials ordered that the Wuhan wet market where the virus is believed to have come from “be closed and sanitized, destroying forensic evidence that may have provided insight into the origins of the outbreak,” according to the New York Post.

The following day, scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology discovered that the coronavirus was highly contagious but didn’t immediately alert the WHO, it reportedly added.

The document also accuses WHO of ignoring warnings from Taiwan and Hong Kong about the risk of human-to-human transmission and then falsely claiming for weeks that Chinese researchers found “no evidence” of that happening, the New York Post reported.

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“From the early stages of the outbreak, the WHO, under Director-General Tedros’ leadership, parroted and upheld as inviolable truth, statements from the CCP,” the newspaper quoted the report as saying. “An examination of their public statements, including the praise heaped on the CCP’s handling of the pandemic, reveal a disturbing willingness to ignore science and alternative credible sources.

“Director-General Tedros should accept responsibility for his detrimental impact on the COVID-19 response and resign,” it reportedly added.

The document says committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, received a letter from Tedros in July in which he insisted that the WHO responded to the coronavirus in a timely and impartial manner, according to the New York Post.

President Trump, when asked about the report Monday morning on "Fox & Friends," said he was “angry" at China “because they could have stopped this.

“They could have stopped it easily,” Trump said. “They stopped it from going further into their country, but they didn’t stop it from going out to the rest of the world of which we are a part. They didn’t stop it from coming here and Europe and all over the world.”

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A WHO spokesperson told Fox News that the organization is aware of the report and will "review it carefully."

Fox News also has reached out to the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. with a request for comment on this story.