Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding its initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and questioned its potential reliance on manipulated Chinese health data, thereby hindering the world’s ability to effectively prepare and respond, costing countless lives. Reports indicate the communist government of China downplayed the deadly disease and muzzled whistleblowers who attempted to warn the world.
“Unfortunately, there is ample reason to question WHO’s response to early signs of this outbreak in China. The lack of independent analysis and advice in the face of initial misleading public messaging from China has resulted in several countries scrambling to make up for lost time.” Grassley wrote. “This reporting raises the question as to whether WHO had reason to believe that the information China was providing was inaccurate, and whether due to its reliance on incorrect, unverifiable information, WHO was slow to raise the global alarm about the outbreak. It is WHO’s responsibility to act in an independent manner on behalf of the entire world by seeking accurate, impartial information and assessing all information from governments for reliability when advising member countries of possible outbreaks.”
“China’s coronavirus messaging and misinformation campaign has had a detrimental impact on the global community, and a clear, direct impact on WHO’s ability to stay ahead of this pandemic,” Grassley continued. “Rather than parroting Chinese propaganda and talking points, WHO should be making independent assessments. Like many of my colleagues in the United States Senate, I question Communist China’s ability and willingness to coordinate in a transparent manner with international bodies when it comes to combating the threat of the coronavirus.”
In his letter, Grassley also pressed the WHO on its treatment of Taiwan and the potential consequences for global public health. As of 2016, Taiwan’s requests to participate in WHO meetings have been denied due to political objections from Beijing.
“While WHO includes Taiwan’s statistics with those of China, Taiwan’s responses to the coronavirus appear to have been completely different from China’s and it is vital for public health decision-making that the data and information on Taiwan’s public health practices be accurately disaggregated and made available to the world,” Grassley wrote.
As early as January 29, 2020, Grassley criticized the WHO for its treatment of Taiwan regarding the coronavirus and called out the communist Chinese government for its objecting to Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.
The U.S. is the WHO’s largest financial contributor since its creation in 1948, contributing more than $400 million last year alone.
“As a U.S. Senator, I have an obligation to do my best to protect the health and well-being of U.S. citizens and to ensure proper oversight of U.S. monies contributed to international organizations,” Grassley concluded.
In his letter, Grassley questioned if the WHO acted on independently verified information as it made recommendations early on in the spread of the virus. Grassley also questioned if the WHO was contacted by anyone from China contradicting the Chinese communist government’s official line and if any contact occurred in late 2019. Grassley pressed the WHO on its methodology in counting health statistics from Taiwan in China’s coronavirus data and asked if WHO intended to change any policies regarding Taiwan or any other semi-recognized entities in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Grassley requested answers to his questions no later than May 1, 2020.
Grassley’s full letter to can be found HERE.