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covid19 stories

No-show WHO official invited a second time to testify before health committee

Bruce Aylward has previously shirked his duty to appear before the committee.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Health has once again demanded that Canadian World Health Organization (WHO) official Bruce Aylward testify in front of the committee to answer for the UN agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Aylward has previously shirked his duty to appear before the committee.

On April 14, Conservative MP and health critic Matt Jeneroux condemned Aylward’s last-minute cancellation and called it “unacceptable.” 

“Dr. Aylward decided not to appear before the committee at the last minute and did not offer to be rescheduled for a later meeting. This is unacceptable,” said Jeneroux in a public statement. 

“There is no doubt that the WHO has been slow to recommend concrete measures, negatively impacting Canada’s response to the virus. The WHO has back-tracked on every position they have taken, meaning the Canadian government has back-tracked as well.” 

Jeneroux put forward a motion to invite Aylward to testify by the end of April, which the committee subsequently passed. 

Aylward himself was the source of public controversy after allegedly dodging questions from a journalist about Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly.

Critics of the WHO have accused the organization of spreading false claims about the coronavirus on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) behalf. 

On Tuesday, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer referred to “many concerns” being raised regarding China’s influence over the WHO.

“Many concerns have been raised about the accuracy of the World Health Organization’s data, the influence that China has on the World Health Organization,” said Scheer.

Scheer has since signed a letter by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute condemning the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup of the initial coronavirus outbreak and the WHO’s complicity in the act. 

“The roots of the pandemic are in a cover-up by CCP authorities in Wuhan, Hubei province. Under the influence of the CCP the World Health Organisation first downplayed the pandemic,” reads the letter. 

“Taiwanese health officials also allege that they ignored their alerts of human-to-human transmission in late December. Under pressure from the CCP, democratic Taiwan—which has coped with the pandemic in exemplary fashion—is excluded from the WHO.”

Scheer is among several Canadian politicians who have signed the document, including Conservative party leadership contenders Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole, among other MPs. 

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