China’s Global Times government propaganda outlet condemned World Health Organization (W.H.O.) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as uninformed and “irresponsible” on Wednesday after Tedros called the Communist Party’s coronavirus lockdown policy “not sustainable.”
“As we all know the virus is evolving, changing its behaviors, becoming more transmissible and with that changing behavior, changing your measures will be very important,” Tedros told reporters on Tuesday. “When we talk about the zero COVID strategy, we don’t think that it is sustainable considering the behavior of the virus now and what we anticipate in the future, and especially when we have now a good knowledge, understanding of the virus.”
The Chinese government initially censored Tedros’ remarks, made in response to a question about China’s month-long lockdown of its largest city, Shanghai.
The Global Times subsequently published a screed featuring anonymous comments by alleged Chinese health experts condemning Tedros for questioning the wisdom of forcing millions into house arrest or quarantine camps and for not similarly condemning the United States, which has never implemented Chinese policies like welding people shut in their homes or installing electronic monitors on doors to ensure that residents do not leave.
“World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ remarks that China’s zero-COVID strategy is ‘unsustainable’ was seen by Chinese experts as ‘irresponsible’ comment [sic] on the Chinese people’s efforts in fighting the pandemic,” the Global Times declared, “and failed to reflect his, or WHO’s, sufficient evaluation of China’s efforts in this area.”
An anonymous “expert from the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University” told the Global Times that Tedros had “failed to grasp a full and accurate evaluation of China’s fight against [coronavirus], and such remarks, coming from a person in his position, is irresponsible for the 1.4 billion people’s effort in fighting the coronavirus.”