Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) asked World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to suppress news about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the German intelligence agency BND found, according to a report by German magazine Der Spiegel.
During a conversation on Jan. 21, Xi reportedly asked Tedros not to announce that the virus could be transmitted between humans and to delay any declaration of a coronavirus pandemic.
Also reported in the Indian Express, which unlike Taiwan News also contains a rebuttal from the WHO, at least regarding the phone call:
The German news outlet, Der Spiegel, published a report citing intelligence from the country’s Federal Intelligence Service, known as the ‘Bundesnachrichtendienst’ (BND), that China “urged” the WHO to “delay a global warning” about the coronavirus outbreak. As per the report, the intelligence found that Xi and Tedros spoke by phone on January 21 during which the Chinese President “urged” the WHO chief to “hold back information about a human-to-human transmission and to delay a pandemic warning.” “The BND estimates that China’s information policy lost four to six weeks to fight the virus worldwide,” the report further added.
The WHO, on its part, called the claims “unfounded and untrue.” In a series of tweets, the WHO clarified that there was never a phone call between chief Tedros and Xi Jinping.
There seem to be some such articles on Der Spiegel, but they're all in German. So did the BND level this accusation? I'm a bit suspicious because of the lack of coverage in e.g. DW and other English-language media (besides those from South Korea, Taiwan and India. In contrast, what I could find on CNBC about what the BND supposedly said was pretty different, albeit it might be a different story, not necessarily contradicting the one about China and the WHO.)