GOP Reps. Ask WHO’s Dr. Tedros To Testify, Accuse Him Of ‘Shielding China’
Republican lawmakers on the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis along with Oversight Committee Ranking member James Comer, R-KY, requested Wednesday that World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus testify before the committee and answer to “revelations that WHO provided false information to Congress about China’s actions in the pandemic.”
The WHO previously reported learning of a cluster of pneumonia cases from China in late December in response to the Committee’s request for information in April. That story has since changed. Last week, the WHO quietly updated their timeline on the discovery of the novel coronavirus, saying they first learned of the virus from a U.S. website, first reported by The Washington Free Beacon.
“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 lawmakers wrote.“By refusing to disclose the truth, you have shielded China from accountability,” the Republicans added. “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.”
President Donald Trump has been moving to withdraw the U.S. from the WHO, saying the organization and its leadership are “China-centric.” This week, he made it official in a notice to Congress and the United Nations.
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee first wrote to Dr. Tedros in April about his organization’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and raised concerns over its alleged “improper relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.”
Their calls for transparency from the WHO chief were ignored by Democrats on the Committee who refused requests in late April and in May to investigate the WHO.
The WHO responded to the April letter on June 15, and its response, the GOP members say, was “wholly incomplete and contained at least the one false statement.”
The WHO earlier praised China’s response to the pandemic and lauded the Chinese government’s efforts to contain the virus. The organization also spread misinformation that the virus couldn’t be spread from person-to-person, ignoring early warnings from Taiwan.