Sen. Rick Scott Requests Information on PAHO’s Response to Coronavirus and Cooperation with the WHO

April 17, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Carissa Etienne requesting additional information on PAHO’s response to the Coronavirus and any coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Communist Party of China, whose efforts to cover up the pandemic cost thousands of lives around the world.

Read the Senator’s letter HERE or below.

April 17, 2020

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne


Pan American Health Organization

525 23rd Street NW

Washington, DC 20037


Dear Director Etienne:

I write to ask about the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Answers to the following questions will help legislators and government officials in the United States and the Western Hemisphere understand how this pandemic began, what steps were or were not taken that could have mitigated its severity, and what more we can do now and in the future to protect global health. 

In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the Communist Party of China withheld information about the origins of the Coronavirus. The Communist government did not address the outbreak with transparency and hid information from its own citizens as well as other governments. I am working with my colleagues in the United States Senate to investigate Communist China and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) actions to cover up the pandemic. We know that Communist China and the WHO did not cooperate with Taiwan, and the WHO refused to heed warnings from Taiwan. This is vitally important for our hemisphere because of the close relations that several countries in the Western Hemisphere have with Taiwan. Even now, the Chinese Communist Party continues to spread false information by blaming the United States for the outbreak. 

Therefore, I ask that you please address the following questions:

  1. When was PAHO told about the outbreak and by which government or international organization?
    • What was PAHO’s response?
  2. Given that PAHO is comprised of many experts, were any of them engaged at the outset, and even now, to understand the origins of the pandemic?  Have any raised questions about the accuracy of the information they received?
  3. Is there a mechanism or process at PAHO for researchers to question and validate the information they are receiving as it relates to the effects of a pandemic on PAHO’s work in the Western Hemisphere?
  4. How closely does PAHO follow the guidance of the WHO? Is PAHO permitted to act independently as necessary in its efforts to fight pandemics in the Western Hemisphere?
  5. What protocols and procedures does PAHO have in place for epidemics, suspected pandemics and pandemics prior to December 2019?
  6. Please outline what steps were taken by PAHO, in accordance with protocols and procedures for epidemics, suspected pandemics and pandemics, as a result of the Coronavirus?
  7. When did PAHO first know Communist China had cases of a potential “SARS-like virus”?
  8. Are there any officials at PAHO charged with coordinating PAHO’s Coronavirus response with the Chinese Communist Party?
  9. Do any members of the PAHO leadership team receive financial compensation outside of their PAHO salaries? If so, please describe.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your response as we work to understand the origins of the Coronavirus and provide answers to the American people.


Rick Scott

United States Senator