Republicans Demand Answers From WHO After False Statement About China's Coronavirus Response

Posted: Jul 08, 2020 5:20 PM
Republicans Demand Answers From WHO After False Statement About China's Coronavirus Response

Source: Naohiko Hatta/Pool Photo via AP

On Wednesday, House Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter to the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, calling upon Tedros to answer questions under oath regarding false statements made by the WHO and other troubling aspects of the WHO's failed response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The WHO previously told Republicans on the House Oversight Committee that Chinese officials informed the WHO about a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan on December 31, 2019. But the WHO quietly contradicted that claim last week when it updated its official timeline showing the WHO learned about the outbreak from a U.S. website. 

"This revelation confirms that China failed to notify the WHO of the outbreak, in violation of the Internal Health Regulations (IHR), and must be held accountable," Republicans wrote on Wednesday. "By refusing to disclose the truth, you have shielded China from accountability. Your public statements regarding the initial outbreak coupled with the WHO website and your June 15 letter to this Committee demonstrate an endorsement of the CCP propaganda efforts to cover up the origins of this virus and mislead the world."

Committee Republicans stated "the WHO's negligence and lack of transparency resulted in a loss of faith" in the WHO's ability to handle pandemics, including the current one. In late May, President Trump announced the end of voluntary WHO contributions, officially notifying Congress and the United Nations of the withdrawal this Tuesday. 

"Unequivocally, no organization should receive American taxpayer dollars that refuses to tell the truth and is unaccountable to the nations it serves," the Republican letter reads. 

Committee Republicans repeated an earlier request for documents and communications between the WHO and the Chinese Communist Party and requested Tedros and other top officials at the WHO sit for transcribed interviews to address these important concerns. 

Republicans also called on the WHO "to publically and formally acknowledge China's violation of the [International Health Regulations]" for failing to notify the WHO about the outbreak.

The letter was signed by Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), James Comer (R-KY), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), and Mark Green (R-TN).