Senators Urge Linking WHO Funding to Cooperation With Congressional Probe

April 24, 2020 Updated: April 26, 2020

Republican senators asked their colleagues on April 24 to require that funding of the World Health Organization be tied to the entity’s cooperation with the congressional inquiry into the handling of the CCP virus outbreak.

In a letter to Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)—the chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee that drafts the spending legislation covering the World Health Organization (WHO)—five Republican senators requested that funding for the WHO be reduced in fiscal year 2021 if the organization fails to cooperate with the inquiry.

“The world is facing an unprecedented public health crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the solution requires the cooperation of all nations across the globe,” the letter (pdf), signed by Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Minn.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Steve Daines (Mont.), and Kevin Cramer (N.D.), states.

“Unfortunately, the WHO’s leadership seems to have failed their mission to protect the global community from COVID-19, because they appear to have uncritically accepted false and misleading information provided by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The senators wrote that they support President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold funding to the WHO, while the administration reviews the agency’s response to the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Trump has said that in addition to apparent missteps in handling the outbreak, the WHO has grown too close to China, despite receiving the largest portion of its funding from the United States.

U.S. taxpayers have contributed $1.5 billion to the WHO since 2016, according to the letter. Congress appropriated the funds with faith that the WHO “would focus on advancements in world health.”

“American taxpayers cannot continue to fund an organization that seems to have misled the world about this pandemic and continues to act beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, counter to the interests of global health security,” the senators wrote.

“These are gravely serious issues that must be addressed with complete transparency so that the American people and the world understand what the WHO did and did not do in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.”

In the early stages of the outbreak, the WHO appears to have parroted the communist regime’s misinformation on the seriousness posed by the CCP virus and whether it was capable of human-to-human transmission. When Trump ordered a travel ban on China, the head of the WHO publicly opposed such measures.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News last week that the United States may permanently cut funding to WHO.

“It may be the case that the United States can never return to underwriting, having U.S. taxpayer dollars go to the WHO. We may need to have even bolder change than that,” he said.

“I think we need to take a real hard look at the WHO and what we do coming out of this. We reformed this back in 2007, so this isn’t the first time we’ve had to deal with the shortcomings of this organization that sits inside the United Nations. We need a fix. We need a structural fix with the WHO.”

Graham and Leahy didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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