House Oversight Committee Members Press WHO on Role in Spreading Beijing’s Propaganda

House Oversight Committee Members Press WHO on Role in Spreading Beijing’s Propaganda
World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom (L) shakes hands with Chinese regime leader Xi jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 28, 2020. (Naohiko Hatta/AFP via Getty Images)
Bowen Xiao
Several Republican members of the House Oversight Committee are requesting that the World Health Organization (WHO) hand over information about its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the wake of Beijing’s widely criticized, botched handling of the CCP virus pandemic.
In an April 9 letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the U.S. lawmakers laid out concerns that the international organization helped to serve Beijing’s interests over those of other countries by repeating the Chinese regime’s lies about the situation and downplaying the severity of the disease.

The letter comes amid the committee’s investigation into the Beijing regime’s role in the spread of the pandemic, including its large-scale propaganda campaign.

The CCP’s global disinformation campaign is primarily aimed at deflecting blame, sowing discord internationally, and portraying the image that the regime has contained the outbreak. The lawmakers also heavily criticized Ghebreyesus’s role.

“Throughout the crisis, the WHO has shied away from placing any blame on the Chinese government, which is in essence the Communist Party of China,” they wrote.

“You, as leader of the WHO, even went so far as to praise the Chinese government’s ’transparency' during the crisis, when, in fact, the regime has consistently lied to the world by underreporting their actual infection and death statistics,” the letter states.

Internal government documents obtained by The Epoch Times have highlighted how the Chinese regime purposefully underreported cases of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus and which causes the disease COVID-19, and censored discussions of the outbreak, fueling its spread.

The lawmakers asked for all documents and communications between the WHO and China about public health and the CCP virus, as well as the “the total number of infected persons and deceased persons related to the current COVID-19 pandemic in China, including those infected but asymptomatic.”

They requested all documents dating back to August 2019, in addition to providing a staff-level briefing no later than April 16.

In a Jan. 14 Twitter post, the WHO repeated Chinese propaganda saying that “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”
Last week, a number of Republican members of the Oversight Committee sent a separate letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him for more information about how the United States is responding to what they called China’s “dangerous and dishonest propaganda efforts.”
Meanwhile, calls to defund the WHO are ramping up as numerous U.S. lawmakers join the Trump administration to accuse the organization of helping to cover up China’s poor response. In total, the United States’ financial contributions make up 22 percent of the WHO’s assessed funds from member nations.

CCP Is Responsible

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Beijing should pay reparations to the United States as compensation for its failed handling of the pandemic.
“The first thing I want to do is get the United States Senate on the record, where we don’t blame Trump, we blame China,” Graham told the network on April 9. “The Chinese government is responsible for 16,000 American deaths and 17 million Americans being unemployed.”

Graham added that he wanted to cancel some of the U.S. debt to China.

Nikki Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, also backs the idea of an independent investigation into WHO.

“The American people have every right to ask the WHO questions,” Haley told “Fox & Friends” on April 9. "The American people deserve to know why Taiwan was ignored and China was listened to. Those are real questions that we need real answers [to].

“I have dealt with those guys at the UN for a long time. ... They turn the tables whenever they are criticized and they have to be held accountable, just like we would hold any American agency accountable.”

President Donald Trump first announced on April 7 that the United States plans to place a hold on funding for the WHO. He said it is “too China-centric” and criticized the organization for opposing his early decision to place a ban on travel from China aimed to prevent the spread of the CCP virus to the United States.
Bowen Xiao was a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.
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