GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States called on the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday to begin work immediately on investigating the source of the novel coronavirus, as well as its own handling of the response to the pandemic.

Admiral Brett P. Giroir, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, told the WHO’s executive board in a written statement: “As President Trump just made clear in his May 18 letter to Director-General Tedros, there is no time to waste to begin on the reforms needed to ensure such a pandemic never happens again.”

An independent, comprehensive review of the WHO-led global response – as agreed in a resolution adopted by the WHO’s annual ministerial assembly on Tuesday – should seek “complete and transparent understanding of the source, timeline of events, and decision-making process for the WHO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic”, he said.

When the WHO Assembly resumes in the autumn, it must address the outcome of the review process, reforms to strengthen the WHO, “including the ability of Taiwan to participate as an observer”, Giroir added.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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