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FLASHBACK: WHO Senior Official Said ‘If I had COVID-19, I want to be treated in China’

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Senior Advisor to the World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Bruce Aylward said in February that if he was diagnosed with COVID-19, he would want to be treated in China.

“The first thing in the response is there has to be a shift in mindsets. Again, around the world, people are thinking oh gosh how do we live with this and manage this disaster instead of gosh this virus is gonna show up in our country, we’re gonna find it within the first week,” he said at the time.

Dr. Aylward led the WHO’s mission to China in February and praised the Chinese government’s response to the emerging epidemic and described their efforts to contain the virus as “ambitious, agile and aggressive” after he and his team returned.

“We’re going to find every case. We’re going to go after every contact. We are going to make sure that we isolate them and keep these people alive.” Dr. Aylward explained, “So they survive in the case. The rest of the world would access the expertise of China. They’ve done this at scale. They know what they’re doing and they’re really really good at it. And they’re really keen to help.”

He added, “If I had COVID-19, I would want to be treated in China.”

Dr. Aylward and the WHO are under intense scrutiny by the Trump administration after President Donald Trump announced this week that he’s pausing U.S. funding to the organization over its alleged “China-centric” nature.

Some of what the President was referring to comes from Dr. Aylward’s response to the pandemic. During a recent interview with a Hong Kong based-reporter Taiwan’s status with the WHO (it’s currently banned from membership), however, he responded that she had “already talked about China” and then hung up when pressed again to comment.

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Healthcare

American and Southwest stand by vaccine mandate, despite Abbott’s ban

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Southwest shutterstock 606188015

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are still planning to comply with President Biden’s executive order regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The order requires all their employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8t. As a result, they will be ignoring Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

Abbott announced his own executive order, effectively banning mandates even from private employers, on Tuesday. “In another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”

Yet both airlines are requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 24. This comes despite Southwest’s impromptu cancellation of over 2,000 flights over the weekend. At the time, the airline blamed the cancellations on air traffic control and weather conditions. However, SaraACarter.com was unable to verify that any other airline had to cancel near as many flights for the same reasons. This has left many to speculate that Southwest actually cancelled flights due to their employees walking out as a direct result of the mandate.

Reporter Jack Posobiec tweeted out a flyer circulating among the anti-vaxx Southwest employees. Currently, they are planning a protest outside of Southwest headquarters next Monday. The protest will be called “Freedom Not Force.”

Southwest told Reuters it “would be expected to comply with the President’s Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor.” In addition, American similarly said Abbott’s order does not change anything.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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