International Development Minister Karina Gould went to bat for the World Health Organization yesterday, saying that it was not the WHO's place to question China's role in the pandemic. This was in light of the 73rd annual meeting of the World Health Assembly.
"We have to understand and appreciate that the WHO is reliant on all of its member states to provide information," said Gould. "I do think that the WHO did provide, to the best of their ability, the most accurate and up to date information that they had."
"I think that what's really important is the fact that they provided the information as soon as they had it, and it's something that we've all been pushing for," Gould told Vassy Kapelos of CBC's Power & Politics.
Kapelos pressed Gould on the matter, asking if WHO should be sceptical of data from the authoritarian regime, to which Gould responded: "I'm not sure that that's the place for the WHO, because the WHO is a product of its member states, and I think that each member state can push for openness and for transparency," Gould said.
"One of the things that we're doing with the World Health Assembly this week, is continuing to raise that issue... in terms of what we expect other member states to do in terms of providing information and data."
Dr. David Naylor of Canada's COVID-19 Task Force told Power & Politics that the WHO relied too heavily on Chinese data.
"I think they were a little too deferential. They knew from SARS-1 that there had been problems with incomplete reporting," Naylor said on April 23.
Criticism of the WHO has led to an image crisis for the global organization, who have since been challenged by over 100 countries to investigate China's coronavirus outbreak.
The European Union's 27 members are on board with the motion, along with Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, and New Zealand. Russia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Britain, and Canada, are also part of this coalition.