World Health Organisation’s Handling of Covid-19

Facebook version:

YouTube version: (WHO’s story starts at 16 mins 36 seconds)

Archive link at RTHK (2020-3-28):

Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been criticised for its slowness in declaring the coronavirus to be a global pandemic, and for defending China’s handling of the epidemic.

A few places have seemed to have things more under control though. One of them is Taiwan. In late March, Taiwan had recorded 252 cases and only two deaths, a much lower percentage than its larger East Asian neighbours. Taipei says it alerted the WHO at the end of December about the risk of human-to-human transmission of Covid-19, but concerns were not passed on. Despite being shut out by China and the WHO, Taiwan’s efforts in combating the outbreak were recognised by the European Union in a recent video conference.

In an exclusive interview with The Pulse, we talked to a WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward.

“Will the WHO reconsider Taiwan’s membership?” I asked.

Aylward didn’t respond for several seconds.


“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear your question, Yvonne.” Alyward replied.

“Okay, let me repeat the question.”

“No that’s okay. Let’s move to another one then.” Aylward cut in.

“I’m actually curious in talking about Taiwan as well, on Taiwan’s case.” I followed up.

Aylward then appeared to either hang up the call, or get disconnected. I called Aylward back and asked, “I just want to see if you can comment a bit on how Taiwan has done so far in terms of containing the virus.”

Aylward responded, “Well, we’ve already talked about China. And when you look across all the different areas of China, they’ve actually all done quite a good job.”

“So with that I’d like to thank you very much for inviting us to participate and good luck as you go forward with the battle in Hong Kong,” he said, ending the conversation.

Media Coverage:

On the interview

– 連登討論區 |【港台好波】港台問世衛助理總幹事台灣嘢即被CUT線” | March 28

– 立場新聞 |【武漢肺炎】專訪被問及台灣世衛成員資格 世衛助理總幹事疑「cut 線」| March 28

– 民視新聞 | WHO官員又舔中!港媒問台灣防疫 官員艾沃德竟裝聾讚中國” | March 28

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s Twitter in response to the interview | March 29

– World Health Organisation’s statement in response to the interview | “Information sharing on COVID-19” | March 29

– Bloomberg |“WHO Says It’s Working With Taiwan Experts After Video Goes Viral” | March 29

– Reuters | “WHO says following Taiwan virus response closely, after complaints” | March 29

– Daily Wire | WATCH: Senior WHO Official Avoids Taiwan Question, Talks About China, Abruptly Ends Interview | March 29

– TFIPOST | Fear of China makes WHO official Bruce Aylward act like a deaf & forgetful 90 year-old the moment he’s asked about Taiwan | March 29

– Hong Kong Free Press | “Video: Top WHO doctor Bruce Aylward ends video call after journalist asks about Taiwan’s status” | March 29

– 蘋果日報 |港台記者問台灣防疫 世衞官員詐聽唔到 英議員斥中共是疫情問題所在 | March 29

– 中央通訊社 | 港媒問台灣防疫 世衛官員艾沃德裝聾讚中國 | March 29

– 東森新聞 | WHO高層受訪 聽到台灣秒裝聾:大陸做得很好| March 29

– 華視新聞 |WHO幹部受訪被問台灣問題…「空氣凝結9秒」斷線 | March 29

– 央視 | 拿台湾问题碰瓷 世卫做出最干脆最硬核反应 | March 29

– 眾新聞 | 世衛聲明:台灣會員資格取決成員國 台媒指世衛罕見稱「台灣」而非「中國台北」| March 30

– Newtalk 新聞 | WHO官員斷線避談台灣防疫、入會問題 美參議員諷:中共的爪牙 | March 30

– Focus Taiwan CNA English News | “WHO sticks to position, says Taiwan membership up to member states” | March 30

– The Guardian | “Senior WHO adviser appears to dodge question on Taiwan’s Covid-19 response” | March 30

– BBC News | “Why Taiwan has become a problem for WHO” | March 30

– The Japan Times | “Viral video raises fears for Taiwan about WHO’s reliance on China” | March 30

– Fox News: Tucker Carlson Tonight | “Tucker: World Health Organization praises China, denies Taiwan’s existence” | March 30

– Voice of America | “US Supports Taiwan’s World Health Assembly Observer Status” | March 30

– 中央廣播電臺 | 訪問WHO高層談台灣 香港電台記者躍上維基百科 | March 31

– Taipei Times | “Virus Outbreak: Two US senators blast WHO over Taiwan’s status” | March 31

– Washington Examiner | “US backs Taiwan’s bid for WHO observer status amid clash with China over coronavirus” | March 31

– Daily Mail | “WHO is accused of being influenced by Beijing after a senior official ‘hung up on’ a journalist who asked about Taiwan’s response to coronavirus” | March 31

– The Federalist | “As Long As Communist China Controls The World Health Organization, It’s Completely Unreliable” | March 31

– The Nation | “The WHO Ignores Taiwan. The World Pays the Price.” | April 3

– Newsmax | “WHO Official Hangs Up on Reporter’s Taiwan Question” | April 4

– The Diplomat | “Taiwan Will Donate 10 Million Masks in Bid to Aid Global Coronavirus Response” | April 4

– Israel National News | “Senator calls to investigate WHO, questions Chinese Communist Party ties” | April 6

– Public Radio International | “Taiwan’s success in fighting COVID-19 is overshadowed by global politics” | April 7

– National Review | It’s Time to Rectify Taiwan’s Shameful Treatment on the International Stage | April 14

Reason | How China Corrupted the World Health Organization’s Response to COVID-19 | April 15


The aftermath of the interview

HKSAR Commerce and Economic Development Bureau’s response to the interview | April 2

– 香港記者協會聲明 | 邱騰華斥港台提台灣問題違一中原則 記協表示遺憾 | April 2

香港電台節目製作人員工會聲明 | April 2

– 立場新聞 | 港台記者追問世衞高層台灣問題 邱騰華:違一個中國原則,梁家榮須負責 | April 2

– ETtoday新聞雲 | 港媒問「台灣加入WHO」被斷線 港府要追究:違反一中原則「台長須負責」| April 2

– Bloomberg | “Hong Kong Criticizes Broadcaster for Asking WHO About Taiwan” | April 2

– Hong Kong Free Press | “Hong Kong gov’t slams RTHK for ‘breaching’ One-China principle’ after broadcaster asks WHO doctor about Taiwan” | April 2

– Radio Television Hong Kong’s English News | “RTHK rejects govt complaint over Taiwan interview” | April 2

– Committee to Protect Journalists | “Hong Kong government reprimands RTHK broadcaster over question about Taiwan” | April 3

– The Guardian | “Hong Kong official reprimands TV station over WHO interview that mentioned Taiwan” | April 3

– Voice of America | “Hong Kong Government Reprimands Public Broadcaster for WHO Interview About Taiwan” | April 3

– The Heritage Foundation | Kowtowing to China on Taiwan and the Coronavirus | April 3

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s Twitter response to HKSAR statement | April 4

– Global Voices | “Hong Kong censures public broadcaster for raising question on Taiwan’s WHO membership status” | April 5

– 自由時報 | 怒罵港台記者提問「台灣加入WHO」!傾中組織發起示威僅4人到場 | April 5

– 大紀元時報 | 世衛避談台灣 專家籲對WHO配合中共追責 | April 6

– South China Morning Post | “Lam stands by ‘one-China’ criticisms levelled at Hong Kong public broadcaster over Taiwan questions to WHO official” | April 7

– 蘋果日報 | 立會遭圍攻 答不出記者哪句違「一中」批鬥港台 邱騰華:憑感覺 | April 8

– International Federation of Journalists | “Hong Kong: News outlet accused of breaching one-China principle” | April 9

– Hong Kong Free Press | Hong Kong broadcaster rejects WHO claim that interview with top doctor was ‘distorted’ | April 16

蘋果日報 | WHO稱訪問曾剪輯 港台:一刀未剪 | April 17

立場新聞 | 拒回應台灣成員資格 世衛發言人指控港台 曾剪輯片段致歪曲、失實陳述 港台否認指控 | April 17

– DW Documentary | World Health Organization becomes US-China battleground | Dec 30

5 thoughts on “World Health Organisation’s Handling of Covid-19

  1. Hi Yvonne,

    Great job on consolidating all the articles about the interview and the aftermath. We acknowledge that everyone in RTHK have faced enormous pressure dated back to Tung Chee-hwa expressed his discontent on “Headliner” (2001). I wouldn’t add too much here as I have already sent my encouragement and appreciation on FB, and it is definitely heartwarming to see people across the world defend for you and RTHK (~160k signed the petition and messages on different social media platforms).

    Just reviewed some of the projects and articles that you had made over the years, and I must applaud for the constant improvement and the depth of your works, I hope to share my thoughts on these works soon when I get more spare time!

    P.S. I have been working closely with CTS Taiwan(華視新聞) as a voluntary contributor since last summer. You might wish to add their article on the interview to your list as well. “WHO幹部受訪被問台灣問題…「空氣凝結9秒」斷線”

    I’ll write you a separate message to your work e-mail or FB inbox on a community exclusively for English press members/overseas reporters primarily on Hong Kong protests. See if you and/or your colleagues might be interested.

    Have a Happy Easter weekend!


    1. Thanks Yvonne and I just dropped you an e-mail. Wen Wei Po published a new Editorial yesterday which they highlighted your interview again, ain’t going to post the link but it can be found on their main page. See you around.


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