Op-Ed: Sen. Rick Scott
April 10, 2020
That’s why I called for a Congressional investigation into the WHO – what they knew, when they knew it and how they failed the world.
American taxpayers are the largest contributor to the WHO budget. There needs to be accountability for their failures and their willingness to help China hide the coronavirus from the world.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was Beijing’s pick for the position. During his campaign for the Director-General, he delivered a keynote speech at China’s Peking University where he discussed ways China could expand its influence in Africa, helping him win support from the Chinese.
After he was elected, he promised to exclude Taiwan from the WHO, and held meetings to discuss how the WHO could support China’s economic expansionist Belt and Road initiative.
It is no surprise, then, that Tedros, who has a history of covering-up viral outbreaks, is now using the WHO to shill for Beijing.
In December 2019, doctors in Wuhan tried to report an outbreak of an unknown illness, which was already spreading quickly. On January 1st, the Chinese Communist Party made a decision that would spark a global pandemic—it censored the doctors, threatened them, and forced them to recant their “rumors” about a new virus. They ordered lab doctors studying the virus to destroy all its samples and instructed them not to release their findings.
For the next three weeks, Chinese health officials repeatedly lied about the virus’s ability to spread from one human to another, allowing the 11 million residents of Wuhan to freely travel around the world.
While the Chinese Communist Party was falsely claiming COVID-19 could not spread from one human to another, and the world was learning about China’s censorship of doctors and journalists who tried to share information about the virus, the WHO consistently praised the leadership of General Secretary Xi.
Tedros referred to China’s response as a “notable achievement” and a demonstration of “China’s increased capacity to manage new outbreaks.” He praised Xi’s “transparency” and indicated how “impressed” he was by the detail of China’s work.
Even after coronavirus had spread to five other countries, and admitting there was an “emergency” in China, Tedros waited a week before declaring a global public health emergency. In that one week, the coronavirus spread to 18 different countries and the number of cases increased tenfold.
On February 20th, during the Munich Security Conference, after China’s early censorship about coronavirus had already been reported and documented, and only days before China expelled three American journalists for critical coverage of Xi’s handling of the pandemic, Tedros reiterated his praise for the Chinese Communist Party. He said he was “encouraged” by China’s efforts which “bought the world time.”
What’s more, the WHO has used its position and its platform to parrot Chinese propaganda and deny the sovereignty of Taiwan. In March, Dr. Bruce Aylward, an aide to Tedros, was asked if the WHO would consider Taiwan’s membership application. Aylward cowardly bowed the knee to Beijing, pretended he couldn’t understand the question, and abruptly ended the interview. After return to the interview, he even went so far as to imply that Taiwan was part of China.
The World Health Organization failed the world. These tragic months revealed a deep-seated corruption within the organization.
The United States is the largest contributor to the WHO, giving more than $1.5 billion since 2016. Congress appropriated this money with the understanding that the WHO is supposed to focus on world health. Unfortunately, the WHO spends more time kowtowing to Communist China and General Secretary Xi.
I have called for an immediate congressional hearing, along with a full investigation, to determine if the United States should continue to spend millions in taxpayer dollars to fund an organization that willfully parrots propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party.
I am working with the Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Ron Johnson, to get this critical hearing done quickly. Whether we cut funding or tie future funding to certain changes in the organization, we have to take action.
Republican Rick Scott represents Florida in the United States Senate. He is the former governor of Florida.