Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb believes that if Chinese officials were more open about their coronavirus data, the spread of it could have slowed.
“China was not truthful with the world at the outset of this,” Gottlieb said during an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday.
He continued, “Had they been more truthful with the world, which would have enabled them to be more truthful with themselves, they might have actually been able to contain this entirely — and there is some growing evidence to suggest that.”
Gottlieb proceeded to cite a January tweet from the World Health Organization (WHO) — that said “preliminary investigations” from Chinese officials found that human-to-human transmission of the virus was not possible — as an example of the organization receiving and publishing information that turned out to be false.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇨🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
“I think going forward, the WHO needs to commit to an after-action report that specifically examines what China did or didn’t tell the world and how that stymied the global response to this,” he added.
Watch the video below:
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) April 12, 2020
Gottlieb’s comments come as a growing number of lawmakers have called for an investigation of the WHO’s handling of the outbreak and their willingness to trust the data coming from China.
Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) called for the head of the WHO to testify before the Senate about his organization’s handling of the outbreak.
Several officials have said that China’s government withheld critical information about the virus, in the early days of the outbreak, which could have helped world leaders develop a better response before they experienced outbreaks in their countries.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were 532,339 confirmed cases in the United States.
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