(NEW YORK POST) – Canada has taken a tougher stance on the World Health Organization’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling for a post-outbreak probe into the UN group’s actions, or lack thereof.
The Department of Global Affairs published a summary of a talk that International Development Minister Karina Gould had with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, the Globe and Mail reported Monday.
“Minister Gould and Dr. Tedros discussed the critical need for a post-crisis after-action review that will be important to provide insights and learning to both member states and the WHO and support improvements to response and preparedness efforts in the future,” Global Affairs said.
“Dr. Tedros affirmed the WHO’s commitment to full transparency and accountability.”
An after-action review is standard practice for the WHO to analyze its response to a crisis, but an emphasis on the “critical need” for such a probe showed a shift in tone for the Prime Minister’s Office, which has followed the WHO’s guidance during the outbreak and been reluctant to criticize the group, the paper reported.
Amir Attaran, a professor at the University of Ottawa’s school of epidemiology and public health and faculty of law, said more than a review was necessary, and that the WHO should lose responsibility for “anything to do with pandemic preparedness or the declaration of health emergencies.”
Those functions, he added, should be handled by another group.
President Donald Trump has suspended US funding to the WHO, slamming the international organization for favoring Communist China and lacking transparency.