Has the US (or any western government) made any representations to China concerning responsibility regarding Covid-19?

And is anyone in discussions with China, or any other country, as to how to prevent any further such virus from emerging - which may be even more dangerous than this one?

What efforts are WHO taking, and how might they be hampered by the US withdrawal (perhaps only temporarily) from that body?

  • 1
    This question needs some focus. China could do some things to reduce risk, but viruses can evolve anywhere, and there's nothing we can currently do about that. And is this a question about US policy, or the policy of Western states? I'm going to vote to close as needing focus, but that just means I want you to edit, clarify and expand. Oct 4, 2020 at 15:12
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    @TedWrigley I am merely seeking factual information as to what, if anything western nations are doing/have done to prevent similar circumstances from arising. I believe the evidence is almost conclusive that the virus arose in China, and it most likely had something to do with the poor standards of hygiene in their wet markets. It would seem to me essential to bring pressure to bear on China to improve its public health standards, especially with the sale of meat.. I did read that the wet markets which were closed by the PRC have begun to re-open.
    – WS2
    Oct 4, 2020 at 15:32
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    @SeverusSnape Why don't you incorporate that into an answer.
    – WS2
    Oct 4, 2020 at 15:34
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    @WS2 I'd say that the evidence is conclusive that the virus arose in China, but 'poor standards of hygiene in their wet markets' is a terrible characterization of what happened. Have you ever visited Seattle? Congratulations, you've probably been to a wet market (Pike Place). China is certainly a likely place for a virus to arise by virtue of sheer numbers, but there's no evidence AFAIK that they're any more likely than would be expected by random selection. Oct 4, 2020 at 16:05
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    The problem with this question is in the assumption that the emergence of new (or species-crossing) viruses is somehow unique to China, or more likely to happen in China than elsewhere. That is simply false: many new diseases have arisen elsewhere, e.g. AIDS & Ebola in Africa, MERS in the Middle East, Lyme Disease in North America (medicine.yale.edu/news-article/15651 )
    – jamesqf
    Oct 4, 2020 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


Partial answer

In the United Nations General Assembly side-event on ‘Sustainable preparedness for health security and resilience: Adopting a whole-of-society approach and breaking the “panic-then-forget” cycle’, participants shared the common idea that everyone must be prepared for the next health emergency.

According to a report titled "A world in disorder" by Global Preparedness and Monitoring Board, investment of 5 dollars per person per year would be needed for preparedness.

From : The best time to prevent the next pandemic is now: countries join voices for better emergency preparedness

  • Depending on the severity of the illness which Mr Trump experiences, it may change his mind about a number of things, as it did Boris Johnson's - the value of WHO being one of them.
    – WS2
    Oct 5, 2020 at 6:32
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    @WS2 I tried doing a search for “boris johnson view who changed "world health"” but didn’t find anything too specific - do you have any sources that specifically attributes Johnson changing his view about the WHO based on getting infected?
    – Golden Cuy
    Oct 6, 2020 at 8:21
  • @AndrewGrimm Well, I wasn't thinking specifically of BJ in relation to WHO. What I meant was that his illness totally changed him in relation to the pandemic. Before he took ill, his attitude was lakadaisical at best - not dissimilar from Trump's. He has, for example, been widely criticised for not attending COBRA meetings back in Feb/Mar - as if the virus was nothing important to worry about. But since it nearly killed him, he has become more engaged, though many would argue, ineffectively. There is widespread belief that he does not possess the skill set to deal with a crisis.
    – WS2
    Oct 6, 2020 at 19:22

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