Skip The ‘Xi’ Variant? It Should Have Been Called That All Along

In case anyone still needed to be convinced that the World Health Organization is a puppet of China’s communist regime, WHO decided last week to skip the letter “Xi” of the Greek alphabet in naming the next COVID-19 variant, jumping straight to Omicron, in an apparent effort not to offend the Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.

The WHO also skipped the letter “Nu,” which just precedes “Xi,” due to its potential to be confused with the word “new.” But its excuse for skipping the surname of the Chinese Communist Party leader was less buyable.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told The New York Times that the organization’s policy is to avoid “causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups.” He also noted that “Xi” is a common last name, but many aren’t convinced that the global organization isn’t simply continuing its streak of kowtowing to China.

As early as January 2020, after all, the WHO acted as a mouthpiece for the CCP’s misinformation about the new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, spreading lies that cost lives by delaying the world’s ability to prepare for the virus as quickly. “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus,” tweeted the WHO in January 2020.

The WHO has also peddled CCP propaganda about the island nation of Taiwan, toeing the communist government’s line that Taiwan is under its rule.

But rather than shield Xi Jinping from having his feelings hurt, the WHO and everyone else should be laying responsibility at Xi’s feet for spreading lies and silencing whistleblowers while allowing the virus, which has since reportedly killed more than 5 million people, to spread.

Chinese leadership didn’t officially notify WHO about the new virus until Jan. 3, 2020, even though by Dec. 27, 2019, the virus had already been sequenced and several people, including a healthcare worker, were infected. When Chinese authorities eventually did reach out to WHO, they simply reported it as a “viral pneumonia of unknown cause.”

Also before China bothered to report the virus to WHO, Dr. Li Wenliang, a doctor in Wuhan, blew the whistle on Dec. 30, 2019, that “several individuals who had contact with the Hua Nan Seafood Market were diagnosed with SARS-like cases and quarantined in the hospital where he worked.”

As Helen Raleigh noted for The Federalist in 2020, “WHO praised the Chinese government for its ‘transparency,’ yet Wuhan police started rounding up Li and the other doctors on New Year’s Day for ‘fabricating, disseminating and spreading rumors.’” Li was said to have died of COVID-19 in early February, although his initial tests for COVID were negative and he didn’t test positive until after he was hospitalized.

Another Wuhan doctor, Dr. Ai Fen, spoke out after Li’s death, saying she had also been pressured to stay silent by authorities. Two weeks later, she had disappeared, according to reporting by “60 Minutes Australia.”

In April 2020, Chinese authorities restricted academic research on the virus’s origins. In August 2021, China rejected the WHO’s attempt to probe the virus’s origins anew. To make matters worse, for the first year of the pandemic, American corporate media wholeheartedly bought into the propaganda that the virus had originated from bats, with Big Tech companies going so far as to censor suggestions that COVID-19 might have come from a Wuhan lab.

Since then, of course, the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan has gained legitimacy, forcing news outlets to walk back their claims that the theory had been “debunked.” Evidence has also since been revealed that implicates Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in funding gain-of-function research into coronaviruses at places like the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In the meantime, leftists covered for the CCP by insisting that calling the disease the “Wuhan virus” was racist, even though illnesses from Ebola to the Zika virus to Lyme disease have long been named for their places of origin, in addition to even more overt titles like the “Spanish flu.” (In June, the WHO updated its variant naming guidance to use the Greek alphabet instead of using each variant’s place of origin.)

Not only is it ridiculous and pathetic of the WHO to skip a letter of the Greek alphabet in order to placate the ego of China’s dictator, but the world should have been calling this illness the Xi virus all along. Arguably no one — except maybe Dr. Fauci — has done more to hinder the world from responding appropriately to the virus and finding out the truth about its origins.

Xi Jinping deserves far worse than having a COVID variant named after him. For now, it’s the least we can do.

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