All members of the World Health Organization should be behind an independent review of how the coronavirus spread around the world, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday, according to a report.
Morrison has been in contact with President Trump and other world leaders to build support for an examination of how the outbreak, which began December in China, ultimately spread around the world and infected more than 2.6 million people.
“If you’re going to be a member of a club like the World Health Organization, there should be responsibilities and obligations attached to that,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, Reuters reported.
“We’d like the world to be safer when it comes to viruses … I would hope that any other nation, be it China or anyone else, would share that objective.”
Morrison’s comments come days after Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne joined with Trump to call for an investigation into China’s response to the pandemic.
“The issues around the coronavirus are issues for independent review, and I think that it is important that we do that,” Payne told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Sunday. “In fact, Australia will absolutely insist on that.”
“My trust in China is predicated in the long-term. My concern is around transparency and ensuring that we are able to engage openly,” Payne said, adding that the World Health Organization shouldn’t conduct the probe.
Trump has blasted the Chinese Communist Party for not accurately reporting the number of cases it has after COVID-19 broke out in the city of Wuhan.
The president has also halted US payments to the WHO until a review can determine whether the agency mismanaged the outbreak and failed to push Beijing to record accurate numbers.