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Oversight Republicans question WHO leader about China relationship

As the deadly coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, GOP members of the House Oversight Committee question WHO leader, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, about the organization’s relationship with China. 

In a letter Thursday, Republican committee members implored Tedros to explain not only why he has “shied away from placing any blame on the Chinese government” in regard to the spread of the coronavirus, but also why he praised their “transparency.”

Many have critiqued China’s handling of the virus, saying that the government downplayed its severity in the early months. It has also been reported that China has falsified data, giving the world the wrong count of both confirmed coronavirus cases and fatalities of the country. 

The letter opens by addressing a tweet the WHO made in January, which was based “solely on Chinese propaganda” and denied the human-to-human spread of the virus. 

“On January 14, 2020, the WHO tweeted that ‘[p]reliminary investigations conducted by Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus,’” reads the letter. “These preliminary investigations included China jailing any doctor that disseminated any information about COVID-19 not first cleared through state-run media.

“Furthermore, the WHO ignored Taiwanese warnings of human-to-human transmission in December 2019, because Taiwan is not currently recognized by the WHO as an independent nation,” the letter continues. 

The letter also continues to explain that in 2017, the WHO received “17% of its total funding, or $513 million, from the United States. It is essential that American taxpayers’ money is allocated to organizations that uniformly serve the interests of nations across the globe, not merely the interests of China’s authoritarian, communist regime.”

Earlier this week, President Trump made it be known that he is not afraid to freeze funding to the WHO, as the organization has not properly done its job in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fox News reports that “On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., introduced a resolution in the House that calls for the U.S. to defund the WHO until Tedros resigns and the United Nations-backed organization is investigated over its relationship with China.”

Updates will be reported when available.


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