Australia calls for coronavirus probe in China with WHO’s assistance

The demand to hold China accountable is now growing and Australia seems to be taking an aggressive stance. It has emerged as one of the most forceful critics of China.

Today, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared before the media and called for an independent review into the coronavirus pandemic. A global investigation backed by members of the WHO.

“We will need an independent inquiry, that looks at what has occurred here so we can learn the lessons. Now, there will be debates about the timing of that. We are in the middle of dealing with the pandemic right now and I understand some of the hesitations that have been expressed about the timing of that particular inquiry,” Australian PM Scott Morrison said.

“Our purpose here is just pretty simple – we’d like the world to be safer when it comes to viruses. It seems like a pretty honest ambition that I’m sure most people in the world would agree with. So it would be great if we could achieve that and that’s the spirit in which we’re pursuing this and I would certainly hope that any other nation, be it China or anyone else, would share that objective.”

It has been brewing for a week now. Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne had raised this demand first. Something that the Australian PM has agreed with. In fact, Australia wants to push for the probe at the world health assembly, it is the decision making body of the WHO. Australia sits on the executive board of the assembly.

A body, that determines WHO policies and appoints the director-general. The world health assembly will meet on May 17.

Australia might find some support from its neighbour. New Zealand Deputy PM backs the investigation demand. Winston Peters backs “a totally comprehensive, world class investigation” into the origin of the coronavirus.

He said that he is surprised that China is not “welcoming it themselves”.