President Trump is fed up with the World Health Organization’s pro-China bias. He’s also willing to revoke US membership in the group if it doesn’t curb its pro-China bias.
On Monday, Trump sent a sternly-worded letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyeses that called on the organization to make major changes. The four-page letter outlined a litany of missteps relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. It called out the organization for its “alarming lack of independence from the People’s Republic of China”. The president warned that the US would temporarily freeze WHO funding. It will also reconsider its membership in the group if it didn’t commit to “major substantive improvements” within 30 days.
“The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China.” Trump wrote. “I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests,” Trump said in the letter.
On WHO’s Pandemic Response
In April, Trump launched an internal review of the WHO’s pandemic response and froze US funding of the organization pending. That review is now complete and the letter outlines its findings. The letter documents at least 16 instances where the WHO made serious mistakes in its coronavirus response. Many of them seem to be a direct result of the inappropriate influence of the Chinese government.
In January, there were at least three instances where the WHO bowed to pressure from the Chinese government to temper its narrative. On January 14, the WHO reaffirmed China’s claim that the virus was not transmittable between humans despite censored reports from Wuhan that directly contradicted the claim. The very next week on January 21, Chinese President Xi Jinping pressured Dr. Tedros to refrain from declaring the coronavirus outbreak an emergency, a request the director willfully obliged. The WHO released a statement the very next day. It said the coronavirus didn’t pose a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Dr. Tedros even met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing later in the month. He even praised the Chinese government for its transparency in responding to the outbreak and said its actions “bought the world time”.
Something Out of Place
The Trump Administration continues to hold the @WHO and #China accountable for misleading the world about the spread of COVID-19.@PressSec: "U.S. taxpayer dollars will not go to an organization that slow-walks information, has a China bias, and puts American lives at risk." pic.twitter.com/LcH7CLUjsr
— America First Policies (@AmericaFirstPol) May 19, 2020
It’s odd that a global watchdog group would praise China for its transparency when it wouldn’t even allow a WHO team to enter the country until February 16th. That date came more than two weeks after the country officially declared the outbreak as an international emergency. When China finally allowed the WHO response team into the country, it wouldn’t let them anywhere near Wuhan until the final days of their visit. It also barred the two American members of the team from entering the city.
The aforementioned instances are just a small sample of the detailed account outlined in the letter. The WHO made several mistakes in the early days of the pandemic. All of those mistakes seem to be highly indicative of Chinese favoritism.
Despite the WHO’s costly errors relating to the pandemic response, the mainstream media has used Trump’s tough stance on the organization as an opportunity to criticize the president. The mainstream media coverage seems to be very favorable towards China. Additionally, the media particularly focuses on China’s commitment of $2 billion in funding for the organization. Amazingly, these so-called objective journalists don’t see anything suspicious about China’s decision to ratchet up WHO funding. This comes just weeks after the organization demonstrated an unabashed bias towards the Chinese narrative throughout the outbreak.
Bias Towards China
The WHO seems to be firmly entrenched in China’s pocket. However, prior to China’s $2 billion commitment, the US was the organization’s number one patron by a wide margin. It appears that China is using the US pushback as an opportunity to sink its claws deeper into the organization.
Mainstream media continues to bash President Trump’s letter. However, it seems to be an appropriate response to the WHO’s plethora of missteps and obvious political leanings. There’s no reason that the US taxpayer should foot the bill for an organization that has such a clear disregard for American and international interests.