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Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., mentioned in a Saturday tweet that the World Well being Group (WHO) is extra involved about defending the Chinese language authorities’s “emotions” than public well being.
The tweet got here after WHO confirmed it skipped the Greek letters “nu” and “xi” in naming its new COVID-19 variant, which it dubbed the “omicron” variant, although it’s unclear if Cotton’s tweet was in reference to the group’s variant title alternative.
“The WHO is a joke,” Cotton mentioned. “They’re extra involved in regards to the emotions of the Chinese language Communist Get together than they’re about public well being. President Biden ought to by no means have resumed funding to this corrupt puppet of the CCP with out reform.”
In another Saturday tweet, the Arkansas Republican mentioned Chinese language President Xi Jinping “is defensive about being linked to the virus that the Chinese language Communist Get together unleashed on the world.”
WHO SKIPS OVER GREEK LETTERS ‘NU’ AND ‘XI’, NAMES NEW VARIANT ‘OMICRON’
A WHO spokesperson informed Fox Information in a Saturday assertion that it skipped the Greek letters “nu” and “xi” as a result of “‘nu’ is simply too simply confounded with ‘new,’ and ‘xi’ was not used as a result of it’s a frequent final title.”
“WHO greatest practices for naming illness recommend avoiding ‘inflicting offence to any cultural, social, nationwide, regional, skilled or ethnic teams,'” the spokesperson mentioned.
WHO recommends utilizing Greek letters to make the virus naming course of simpler, in line with its web site. Variants being monitored embrace alpha (B.1.1.7 and Q lineages), beta (B.1.351 and descendent lineages), gamma (P.1 and descendent lineages), epsilon (B.1.427 and B.1.429), eta (B.1.525), iota (B.1.526), kappa (B.1.617.1), zeta (P.2) and mu (B.1.621, B.1.621.1), which is the final letter earlier than nu, adopted by xi and omicron.
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The transfer didn’t go unnoticed by pundits and politicians on social media — a few of whom criticized the choice whereas others praised it.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, additionally criticized the WHO, saying the group is “fearful of the Chinese language Communist Get together” in a tweet.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., mentioned “the brand new virus ought to be name the Xi variant, since China lied and unfold COVID to start with!” in tweet Saturday.
WHO and China have confronted robust criticism from world wide over their pandemic response, as China blocked WHO investigators from coming into Wuhan for months in 2020. They lastly arrived in mid-January of this 2021 and launched preliminary findings a month later.
The primary circumstances of coronavirus had been found within the Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan in December of 2019.
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A Might Wall Road Journal report citing beforehand undisclosed U.S. intelligence paperwork discovered among the Wuhan Institute of Virology employees who fell in poor health in 2019 required hospital care, lending weight to what some have dubbed the “lab-leak concept.”
The group in February mentioned its preliminary joint report with China into the origins of the pandemic discovered it “extraordinarily unlikely” the virus got here from a lab and suggested “future research.”
The WHO issued a July assertion admitting that the lab-leak was not “extraordinarily unlikely” in spite of everything.
The Related Press contributed to this report.