Accuracy in Media

Piggybacking off its previous defense of the World Health Organization, NowThis News again avoided criticizing the global organization for its praise of China.

The website acknowledged the WHO’s multiple mistakes leading up to the declaration of the coronavirus as a global pandemic but left out the organization’s favorable statements about China’s response.

NowThis News headlined its defense of the WHO, “Trump Says He’ll Halt World Health Organization Funding — But Can He?” It detailed how President Donald Trump proposed budget cuts to the WHO over its coronavirus response and how the president will review and withhold funding for up to 90 days. The website was skeptical about whether Trump could withhold WHO funds, which are approved by Congress and not the White House.

Although the article fairly depicted the dueling arguments of blaming or defending the WHO, NowThis News omitted the organization’s previous praise of China’s coronavirus containment response.

“Its actions actually helped prevent the spread of coronavirus to other countries,” WHO’s chief said January 29. He was “very impressed and encouraged by the [Chinese] president’s detailed knowledge of the outbreak.” The previous week, the WHO declined to declare the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic until the day after the WHO chief praised China’s containment efforts.

News reports noted that the WHO repeatedly ignored the warnings of Taiwanese doctors since Taiwan is not represented in the WHO due to political disputes between Taiwan and China. Additionally, the WHO continues to repeat the Chinese government’s reported coronavirus statistics, which are flawed and not transparent.

If China was as effective as the WHO said it was, then why did the WHO have to declare a global pandemic? It was apparent that China did not contain the virus outbreak and since then, it has not been transparent about its coronavirus statistics.

The website also failed to mention the WHO’s chief past involvement in denying at least three Ethiopian cholera outbreaks.

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