MP Jeneroux questions why the W.H.O. cancelled a Parliamentary appearance

Written By Guest User, Posted on May 11, 2020

In the wake of Canada’s $850-million handout to the World Health Organization, Canadian taxpayers were quick to condemn the move in light of the organization’s recent shortcomings.

The contribution was part of an international pledging marathon to fund research and the development of vaccines, which has amassed 7.4-billion euros since May 4th

The decision to donate 16 tonnes of medical equipment to China in March, was met in an uproar as China repaid the favour with defective KN95 masks. The sentiment was exacerbated by the WHO Director-General, who praised China and not Taiwan for its COVID-19 efforts and has now funnelled towards the $850-million handout.

Expected to testify in April on a parliamentary health committee, Dr. Bruce Aylward, a Canadian physician-epidemiologist and co-lead of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus disease 2019, cancelled short notice. Upon a subsequent invite to appear before the committee, WHO’s legal representation informed he would not attend. Dr. Aylward’s absence was met with sweeping multi-partisan condemnation.

The Shadow Minister for Health, Edmonton-based MP Matt Jeneroux, expressed his concerns regarding the lack of transparency exhibited by the WHO.

“We learned Dr. Aylward would not testify when we received a notice from the committee clerk that said: “he was called upon unexpectedly to deal with an issue related to the pandemic response, and is not able to appear,” stated Jeneroux. “The WHO did not put forward a name to replace him. We were offered a written submission to the committee instead.”

“I was disappointed that Dr. Aylward cancelled his appearance. I believe our public health officials should be held accountable for the advice they’re giving to the public, which is why I introduced a successful motion to summon him to appear before the committee.”

With questions arising as to their lack of scrutiny on China and their failing to recognize Taiwan for their success in curbing the spread of COVID-19, Jeneroux said, “there are some serious questions about the WHO’s decisions on COVID-19.”

As one of Canada’s leading-experts on COVID-19, Dr. Aylward was set to appear before the parliamentary health committee “to help develop policies to address the pandemic here in Canada,” according to a statement from the office of MP Jeneroux. 

“I believe it waited too long to declare a global pandemic and relied too heavily on evidence from some countries over others,” says Jeneroux. “The WHO needs to look at all jurisdictions when collecting data. Its ignorance of Taiwan raises questions about its authority to give public health guidance.”

“The WHO also flip-flopped on almost every position it took about COVID-19, negatively impacting countries like Canada, which were following all of its advice.” 

Jeneroux also expressed his desire to see a “full review of Canada’s response to COVID-19” that included how it worked with the WHO.

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