Japan’s deputy prime minister lobbed insults Wednesday at the World Health Organization, saying they are parroting Chinese propaganda and should change their name to the China Health Organization.
“People think the World Health Organization should change its name,” Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said, according to translators. “It shouldn’t be called the WHO, it should be renamed the CHO.”
The incident comes after reports that China intentionally misled the world by downplaying the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the country. The WHO sent Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward on a “fact-finding” mission to China in February, where he resoundingly praised China’s efforts, only for for it to be revealed that China hadn’t been counting mild or asymptomatic cases in its data, among other things. (RELATED: White House Anticipates Between 100,000 And 240,000 Coronavirus Deaths)
China has officially reported 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, lower than some nations whose outbreaks started later, such as the U.S. Wuhan, where the virus first broke out, reported 2,535 deaths, but over the course of two days during the crisis, just one of the city’s eight mortuaries received shipments of 5,000 urns to carry ashes of the deceased, according to Shanghaiist. (RELATED: March 11 Study Found That China Could Have Prevented Global Pandemic By Acting Three Weeks Earlier)
The mortuary plans to release urns at a rate of 500 per day until April 4. If the city’s seven other mortuaries are adopting the same policy, that would total 40,000 urns, starting with the first confirmed delivery on March 26.
Aylward himself was thrust into the public spotlight last week after he appeared to pretend he couldn’t hear a reporter when she implied Taiwan was a separate country from China. He cancelled the call when she repeated the question.
The WHO does not allow Taiwan to be a member state. The reporter asked whether that policy might change during the coronavirus pandemic. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Restructures Campaign Into Meals Effort For Kentuckians Affected By Coronavirus)
The footage shows that Aylward initially doesn’t react, appearing to pretend he couldn’t hear the question. When the reporter prompts him again, he claims outright he didn’t hear the question, but quickly requests that she “move on to another one.”
When the reporter asks the question again Alyward canceled the call.