House Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis wrote a letter to World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus asking him to testify under oath after it was revealed China did not report its COVID-19 outbreak to the organization despite the WHO claiming the communist nation had.
The Washington Free Beacon reported the WHO had updated its timeline on the history of the novel coronavirus and now says it discovered COVID-19's existence on December 31 through information posted on a U.S. website by doctors working in Wuhan.
"This revelation demands your complete and forthright response to the Committee's previous request and sworn testimony before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis (the Select Subcommittee). Until you appear under oath, America and the world will not know the origins of this crisis," the letter states.
The WHO previously told the subcommittee in April and June that the Chinese Communist Party had reported the virus to the organization. Republican lawmakers wrote in a letter sent on Wednesday:
"However, a news report from last week revealed that your organization quietly contradicted these claims by posting an 'updated' timeline to your official website. Then, on June 30, 2020, the above reference was quietly scrubbed from the website timeline. The timeline now states that the 'WHO’s Country Office in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) picked up a media report…on cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, PRC.' The 'media report' was actually information posted to a United States website from doctors working in the epicenter of the pandemic.
"This revelation confirms that China failed to notify the WHO of the outbreak, in violation of the International Health Regulations (IHR), and must be held accountable. 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."
Giving the WHO a deadline of July 15, Republicans are asking for the following:
- All documents and communications regarding public health, including but not limited to COVID-19, novel coronavirus, or coronavirus, between the WHO and the Chinese Communist Party or the government of China between August 2019 and present.
- All documents and communications regarding the total number of infected persons and deceased persons related to the current COVID-19 pandemic in China, including those infected but asymptomatic between August 2019 and present.
- All documents and communications regarding public health, including but not limited to COVID-19, novel coronavirus, or coronavirus, between the WHO and Taiwan between August 2019 and present.
In addition to wanting Tedros to testify, Republicans also want Dr. John Mackenzie, Emergency Committee Advisor for the WHO, and Dr. Michael Ry, Executive Director World Health Organization Emergencies Programme, to appear before Congress.