Niagara, Canada—Following concerns of a possible coverup by Beijing, a US Congress committee has asked World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to provide “all documents and communications” between the institution and China from August 2019 on the real figures of an asymptomatic, infected and deceased person.
In a four-page letter to Ghebreyesus, which was signed by 14 US Congress representatives, the committee also asked the WHO to provide them “all documents and transcripts” between the WHO and Taiwan from August 2019 and up to present.
The US House Representatives committee on oversight and reform is investigating the Chinese government’s role in exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic, including its “large-scale propaganda campaign” in which the WHO is allegedly involved.
“Despite the WHO’s purported mission to operate as an apolitical international institution within the United Nations, recent media reports suggest that the WHO helped Beijing disseminate propaganda, downplayed the extent of the disease, and possibly delayed ordering a public health emergency,” the US congress wrote in the letter dated April 9 and addressed to Ghebreyesus, which was obtained by the Manila Standard.
Given the actions and statement of WHO officials on the COVID-19 pandemic in the past few months, the US representatives expressed concern that the health institution is “no longer serving the needs of the world and is instead taking its cue from China.”
They cited several incidents of the alleged “bias” of the WHO for China since the health crisis started spreading last year, and where the health institution had “shied away from placing any blame on the Chinese government.”
“You, as a 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 US State house representative said in the letter.
The committee also cited three instances where the WHO, and its chief, had repeatedly relied on false information from the Chinese government.
Instances such as on Jan. 14, when the WHO denied a human-to-human spread of COVID-19, citing Chinese alleged propaganda; the WHO declared COVID-19 as a public health emergency too late, because it said that China had the spread “under control”; its delayed serious measures, like travel restrictions, to counter the global spread; and the continued praise of the Chinese efforts to combat the crisis, despite the cover-up.
“The WHO ignored Taiwanese warning of human-to-human transmission in December 2019, because Taiwan is not currently recognized by the WHO as an independent nation,” the letter said.
“Despite declaring COVID-19 a PHEIC and extensive evidence of transmission through travel, the WHO insisted other countries not restrict travel or trade to China,” the letter added.
The congressmen also accused WHO that while it declared the COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern too late, its chief congratulated China for its “extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak,” despite multiple reports that China engaged in a massive disinformation campaign.
According to a recent report from the US intelligence community, China severely underreported both its total number of cases of, and death caused by, COVID-19.
The report details efforts by the Chinese government to continually alter their reporting methodology which, at different points, left out individuals who tested positive but were asymptomatic, despite their ability to remain contagious.
The congressmen cited a 2017 funding of 17 percent or $513 million from the United States, and that the WHO should ‘uniformly serve’ the interest not only of the American taxpayers, but also of nations across the globe.
“It is essential that American taxpayers’ money is allocated to organizations that uniformly serve the interests of nations across the globe, not merely the interest of China’s authoritarian, communist regime,” the US Congress said.
It then insisted that the WHO, through its leadership of Ghebreyesus, to disclose all “documents and communications” that transpired between the institution and China to help the US Congress and the public understand the WHO’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship with the Chinese government.
The US also requested the WHO, which is at the center of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a remote staff-level briefing “no later than April 16.
The US also said it will investigate China’s action on jailing any doctor that disseminated any information about COVID-19.
The letter was signed by House officials including Jim Jordan, Jody Hice, Jame Comer, Chip Roy, Glenn Grothman, W. Greg Steube, Ralph Norman, Paul Gosar, Fred Keller, Kelly Armstrong, Carol Miller, Mark Green, Thomas Massie, and Virginia Foxx.