DONALD Trump’s truly bizarre decision to announce to the world that he’s downing hydroxychloroquine to try and fend off coronavirus despite limited medical evidence of its effectiveness may have dominated headlines today, but that’s missing the real story.
Hours later the US president tweeted a damning letter he had sent to the head of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom.
Detailing a succession of failures from the apparently independent body in its dealings with China as its government conducted one of the biggest cover ups in history, he signs off with a zinger of a threat.
Unless the WHO proves its independence from China within 30 days, the US – by far the biggest contributor to its coffers – will make its temporary freeze on funding permanent.
Trump might be known for hyperbole.
But saying the WHO has become China’s puppet in recent months is not one of those moments. It can be backed up with disturbing evidence.
His letter spells out a succession of serious failures that I have been talking about on my talkRADIO show and in my column for Sun Online for weeks.
It includes ignoring credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in December or even earlier, then ignoring evidence indicating human to human transmission. Both of those calamitous decisions allowed the virus to spread internationally and become a pandemic that brought the world to its knees.
President Xi’s claim yesterday that his totalitarian regime has “acted with openness, transparency and responsibility” is as ridiculous as saying the country welcomes a free and democratic Hong Kong.
It simply could not be further from the truth.
Our government’s compromise position might save us from the rough edges of China’s trade repercussions, but it’s not morally right.
Australia’s stance, which has been met with immediate sanctions and nasty threats from the Chinese regime, is trying to silence other governments.
But the powerful new Chinese Research Group within the Tory party is right to say we shouldn’t be frightened to ask difficult questions and make hard decisions regarding China.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is making some of the right noises but needs to go further.
Our entire economy is in turmoil. Now is the time to make it clear we cannot accept economic dependence on such a dangerous totalitarian regime that has put the entire world’s health and economy under the biggest threat since World War II.