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Lancet editor denounces existence of article cited by Trump to justify pulling out of WHO

By Chi Zao (People's Daily Online)    09:03, May 21, 2020

The editor of the renowned British medical journal The Lancet denounced Trump’s claim that a study was published in the journal in December 2019, giving warning to the COVID-19 pandemic only to be ignored by the World Health Organization, while backing up the organization for its proper pandemic control measures.

Richard Horton, the Lancet’s editor-in-chief, noted in a Tuesday tweet: “Dear President Trump - You cite The Lancet in your attack on WHO. Please let me correct the record. The Lancet did not publish any report in early December 2019, about a virus spreading in Wuhan. The first reports we published were from Chinese scientists on Jan. 24, 2020.”

He also disputed Trump’s claim that the journal published reports in December 2019, claiming a virus was spreading in Wuhan. According to Horton, the first report of 41 patients with COVID-19 was published on Jan. 24, 2020, identifying symptom onset of the first Wuhan patient as December 1.

“No cover up. Full transparency,” added the editor.

Horton’s remarks are the latest response to Trump’s letter addressed to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in which he accuses the agency of accepting China’s attempts to downplay the outbreak in its early stage, despite the fact that countless reports were giving constant warning to the hazard of the lethal virus.

Trump also threatened the WHO that he shall permanently withdraw US funding and membership of the agency unless it made “major substantive improvements” within 30 days. 

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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