The Washington Post   |  January 26, 2020

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On Thursday, after delaying for an extra day of deliberation, the World Health Organization decided not to declare the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus to be a PHEIC — a public health emergency of international concern.

The WHO’s decision has surprised many global health experts, particularly after the urgency and severity of China’s internal response. A lockdown of the city of Wuhan has become an unprecedented quarantine of 48 million people in central China. The WHO announcement raises critical questions about how the organization makes its decisions — and, in particular, the role of politics in that process.

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