Senator Rick Scott (R., Fla.) called Tuesday for Congress to investigate the World Health Organization’s ties to China, accusing the organization of relaying Chinese propaganda during the Wuhan-coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO needs “to be held accountable for their role in promoting misinformation and helping Communist China cover up a global pandemic,” Scott said in a statement. “We know Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have . . . and the WHO never bothered to investigate further. Their inaction cost lives.”
China has reported 83,059 cases of coronavirus with 3,305 deaths, according to the New York Times. However, residents of the city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began, are skeptical of the figures and believe far more people have died from the illness. Various reports indicate China has not regained control of the outbreak.
“As soon as Congress is back in session,” Scott said, “there should be a hearing, along with a full investigation, to review whether American taxpayers should continue to spend millions of dollars every year to fund an organization that willfully parroted propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party.”
The U.S. provides 15 percent of the WHO’s annual budget, while China funds 0.2 percent.
China has successfully prevented Taiwan from becoming a WHO a member state, a policy that Taiwan has alleged impeded the organization’s early response to the pandemic. Taiwanese health officials have said their colleagues in the WHO did not relay early reports by Taiwanese doctors indicating possible human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus.
“While the [WHO] provides a platform for all countries to share information on the epidemic and their response, none of the information shared by our country’s [Centers for Disease Control] is being put up there,” Taiwanese vice president Chen Chien-jen told the Financial Times.