The US rejected any reference to the WHO in the text of the resolution, and also turned down an alternative that didn’t explicitly name the organization — and instead cited the UN’s “specialized health agencies,” two diplomatic sources told CNN. UN diplomats were surprised by the US move to block the vote Friday. The effort they had been working on for more than six weeks came to a screeching halt, and they fear it will not be revived.
The US has similarly blocked expressions of global unity at G7 and G20 meetings due to anger about China and the WHO.
China had urged for the resolution to include reference to the efforts of the WHO, which prompted rejection from the US.
A State Department spokesperson said the Trump administration does want the UNSC to call for a global ceasefire, but said that China stifled the effort from succeeding.
“In our view, the goal should be to support the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire. Unfortunately, the PRC has been determined to use this resolution to advance false narratives about its response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan,” the spokesperson said. “In our view, the Council should either proceed with a resolution limited to support for a ceasefire, or a broadened resolution that fully addresses the need for renewed member state commitment to transparency and accountability in the context of COVID-19. “
The spokesperson also said China had “repeatedly blocked compromises that would have allowed the Council to move forward.”
Trump administration officials also say that if China had been more transparent early on — which could have potentially prevented the novel coronavirus from turning into a pandemic — lives would have been saved.