President Donald Trump last week ordered a pause on U.S. taxpayer funding for the WHO, a United Nations agency, while American officials review the organization’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States pushed for reforms to the WHO after the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pandemic, but those proved fruitless when the COVID-19 pandemic started and Chinese officials failed to accurately notify international health officials of the emerging threat, Pompeo said April 22.
WHO officials have repeatedly defended the Chinese Communist Party amid widespread evidence of deception and manipulation.
Pompeo indicated in an interview with Fox News that he supports growing calls for the resignation of WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“I think that’s right,” Pompeo told host Laura Ingraham when asked whether he favors a change in the WHO’s leadership.
“Or even more than that. 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.”
The United States gave the WHO more than $400 million last year. During the pause in funding, American officials are looking at switching funding efforts, including on polio eradication, to other groups.
The 2007 reforms included implementing a rule that countries needed to report outbreaks of new illnesses within 24 hours. Another change was giving the WHO’s chief the ability to make public any information about a member country flouting the rules.
Tedros and other officials have defended themselves and the actions they took and have regularly deflected questions about issues with China’s response to the emergency of the CCP virus.
Pompeo also said April 22 that the CCP still hasn’t allowed U.S. scientists to enter China and visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a high-level laboratory located close to where the virus first emerged.
Without outside access to the lab, Pompeo said last week, scientists can’t properly evaluate how the virus started and spread around the world.
Two U.S. scientists were allowed into China in February as part of a WHO team. The report the team issued on its visit in conjunction with China was extremely positive toward China’s response.