This Is Why The WHO Has Turned Out To Be A Chinese Pawn
China has had one stalwart ally in its messaging on the coronavirus throughout this global pandemic: the World Health Organization (WHO). It has backed China’s data and endorsed its containment methods even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and that shouldn’t be a surprise.
The WHO’s top official, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, won his post in 2017 thanks in large part to lobbying support from the Chinese government. Under his leadership the WHO has reaffirmed its support for the one-China policy, and repeated talking points from the Chinese Communist Party that downplayed the threat of coronavirus early on and deprived the world of precious time to prepare.
“We appreciate the seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak, especially the commitment from top leadership, and the transparency they have demonstrated, including sharing data and genetic sequence of the virus,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said in late January. “WHO is working closely with the government on measures to understand the virus and limit transmission. WHO will keep working side-by-side with China and all other countries to protect health and keep people safe” (RELATED: Top WHO Official Won Election With China’s Help)
By mid-March, the U.S. intelligence community had reportedly concluded that China was actively falsifying its coronavirus cases and death numbers during and after the outbreak in Wuhan. The official statistics say just over 2,500 people died of the virus in the city of 11 million, but new reports suggest the true number is over 40,000.
Reporters arrived at the number based on the output of burial urns from the city’s eight mortuaries, which sent out roughly 3,500 total per day between March 23 and April 4. (RELATED: Elite American Institutions Keep Bowing To Communist China… Over And Over Again)
Dr. Ghebreyesus’ Senior Advisor Dr. Bruce Aylward, a Canadian, has also carried water for China. He abruptly ended an interview with Hong Kong media in March after the reporter suggested Taiwan was not a part of China.
He was also the WHO official who led a “fact-finding” mission to China in February. When he came back, he spoke of China’s coronavirus response in glowing terms and accepted their numbers uncritically.
“If I had COVID-19, I’d want to be treated in China,” Aylward said during a Feb. 27 press conference. “They’ve done this at scale, they know what they’re doing. They’re really, really good at it, and they’re really keen to help.” (RELATED: Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Says The WHO Should Change Name To The China Health Organization)
“They actually changed the course of a respiratory-borne outbreak without a vaccine, which was extraordinary,” he told NPR in early March. “China has 31 provinces, thousands of cities, and it was only a few cities where they took those draconian measures. In the vast majority of them, they … really went back to fundamentals of public health.”
Those “draconian” tactics included police erecting barricades in Wuhan and the greater Hubei privince, forcibly removing infected people from their homes, and even welding people’s doors shut.
But while a knee-jerk reaction might be to assume the WHO’s loyalty to China is thanks to funding, that is unlikely to be the central factor. The U.S. contributed more than $401 million to the organization’s coffers in 2017, while China contributed just over $10 million.
President Donald Trump pointed to the funding disparity with a tweet on Tuesday morning, saying the U.S. will be “giving that a good look.” (RELATED: WHO Spends Twice As Much On Travel As It Does On Medical Supplies)
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
It’s not the first time Trump has threatened to withdraw funding from international organizations if they are acting against U.S. interests. He did the same to the United Nations as a whole early on in his administration to force member countries to start contributing their full share of membership fees.
Other U.S. politicians have called for the WHO and China itself to be held accountable for their roles in preventing the world from seeing the full threat of coronavirus earlier.
“I’ve never trusted a communist. And [China’s] cover-up of this virus that originated with them, has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world,” Republican Arizona Sen. Martha McSally said last week. “The WHO needs to stop covering for them. I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down. We need to take some action to address this issue. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they have done here while we have people dying across the globe.”