At Sunday night’s debate, Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden blatantly lied to the American public about the Trump administration’s handling of coronavirus testing in a pathetic attempt to push the false narrative that a lack of testing has endangered Americans.
“The World Health Organization offered the testing kits that they had available and to give it to us now,” Biden proclaimed.” “We refused it. We didn’t want to buy them,” the Democratic front-runner claimed.
Biden’s claim was false on many fronts and had previously been debunked on at least two occasions. First, during a March 7, 2020 press briefing, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn made clear that there were no World Health Organization (WHO) “testing kits.”
Hahn told reporters: “We’ve seen reports about a WHO test, and that WHO is distributing a diagnostic test to countries. And I want to be really clear about this: We’ve been in constant contact with WHO. The WHO does not have its own test that it is distributing globally. It has only posted on its website protocols from some test developers, including our own CDC.”
During the question and answer period that followed, a reporter inquired whether the WHO actually developed a test. “So they don’t actually” develop tests, that is not “their expertise,” Hahn responded. Instead, as Hahn explained, the WHO “act[s] as an information exchange,” and “so if there’s information available regarding a test that’s put on their webpage so that others can, you know, look at that for technical assistance.”
Azar then further corrected the press’s misunderstanding of the WHO rumor. A German lab, the FDA head explained, had “developed a recipe protocol for a lab-developed test [and] [t]he WHO took that and put that out.” “That’s what’s often been called—misleadingly—the WHO test,” Azar said, adding that “they also got the CDC recipe and also put that out.”
“We develop these concurrently,” with the CDC developing its coronavirus test within 14 days of getting the sequence, Azar stressed. Hahn added that after the CDC sent the test to the FDA—as required by law—his team approved the test the very next day.
Azar then summarized the situation for the attendees: “So, really, we were actually—I think—concurrent or faster than other countries, as you would expect, from the world’s premier epidemiological group at CDC, doing that.”
The press continued to push the false narrative, however: “So this is basically a flat denial. You’re not—you’re saying, you didn’t drop the ball by slowing down the testing process at the beginning, even though it had been developed in Germany previously?”
Azar pointed out that the reporter’s question was inaccurate: The CDC had developed the test in record time and concurrently with the test developed in Germany—and within 14 days of receiving the sequence from China. The HHS secretary added there is a false impression that “there was a fantastic WHO test out there and all we had to do was look at it and start using it. That’s not the case.” In fact, the United States might have been first “to get this test and get it validated,” “among the non-centrally impacted countries.” In short, “it wasn’t a matter of delay.”
Several days later, on March 11, 2020, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy homeland security secretary, and Rear Admiral Dr. Stephen Redd, testified at the House’s Homeland Security Committee hearing on the coronavirus response. During the two-hour-plus hearing, Redd was asked about a rumor “that the World Health Organization created a diagnostic test early on and offered it to the United States and that the Administration is essentially to forgo using the World Health Organizations CORONA-19 diagnostic test and it said to have CDC develop its own” test. “Is that correct?” Rep. Lou Correa asked.
Redd again corrected the misunderstanding, noting that it was not WHO, but actually a company in Germany that developed the Covid-19 test. Redd further explained the CDC was developing the test at the same time, and that it had already been approved by the FDA, while the German test would need to go through the FDA approval process.
Biden, however, ignored this reality and instead peddled another hoax to the public. But don’t expect the mainstream media to point it out.