Birx says first country in pandemic has 'higher moral obligation' for transparency after Trump criticism of WHO response

Birx says first country in pandemic has 'higher moral obligation' for transparency after Trump criticism of WHO response
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Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said Sunday that the first country struck by a pandemic has a “higher moral obligation” for communication and transparency.

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Birx responded by saying “after this is over” the global community can determine what needs to happen in future pandemics in terms of early communication. But the infectious disease expert hinted that China needed to be more transparent

“It’s always the first country that gets exposed to the pandemic that has really a higher moral obligation on communicating on transparency because all of the other countries around the world are making decisions on that,” she said. 

“And that’s something we can look into after this is over,” she added. 

The task force coordinator said earlier data from China and South Korea did not show “that logarithmic increase” that European countries and the U.S. are experiencing in cases. 

“When you look at those countries, it wasn’t until the beginning of March that we could all fully see how contagious this virus was, how transmittable it was,” she said.

Trump announced last week that the U.S. would halt funding to WHO until its response to the coronavirus pandemic was investigated, accusing the group of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus.” 

Several countries and world leaders, including in China, the European Union and the United Nations, condemned the president’s decision, asking him to wait until after the virus has calmed to look into WHO.

The U.S. has counted at least 735,287 cases of coronavirus, with 39,095 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.