World Health Organization is ‘Beijing’s handmaid’ in coronavirus pandemic

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Martha McSally

Pressure already is building to hold China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic.

But such actors seldom act alone, and the World Health Organization also shares blame, contend Nicholas Eberstadt and Dan Blumenthal in a New York Post opinion column.

The WHO “has acted as Beijing’s handmaid,” they contend.

Blumenthal heads Asia studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where Eberstadt holds the Wendt Chair in Political Economy.

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President Trump on Tuesday accused the WHO of being “very China centric” throughout the coronavirus crisis.

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

He said the U.S. financial contribution to the international organization, which is part of the United Nations, is under review.

Trump noted WHO stated on Feb. 3 there was no need for widespread travel restrictions to stop the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

Sen. Marthy McSally, R-Ariz., has called for the resignation of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his defense of China’s actions and his close ties to the communist regime.

Eberstadt and Blumenthal acknowledged that the “fog of war obscures much about the novel coronavirus pandemic.”

“But two facts seem absolutely certain,” they said. “First, China’s Communist authorities have lied, concealed and misled about the origins of the epidemic and the toll of the virus in China. Second, the World Health Organization has acted as Beijing’s handmaid.”

The writers concluded that, consequently, “the global toll of the tragedy will be much greater than it need have been.”

They noted that Beijing lies “about, well, everything.”

First was the cover-up of the origin of the coronavirus and its ability to be transmitted from human to human. Then the numbers of infections and deaths that followed “obviously” were undercounted.

And then there was the Chinese Communist Party’s disinformation campaign, in which it claimed the virus came from America.

“Which brings us to the WHO’s malfeasance in this affair,” Eberstadt and Blumenthal said. “The WHO should have known at the outset that it was dealing with a bad-faith actor in Beijing. Yet — instead of immediately insisting upon access, openness and transparency from China, WHO leadership followed the Chinese lead and at times even took the Chinese line.”

The Hill noted “growing criticism from conservatives” of the WHO’s response.

“Critics have blamed the organization for leaving other nations unprepared for the virus and some allege the organization helped China conceal the extent of the outbreak.”

McSally said China needs “to come clean and another piece of this is, the WHO has 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.”

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wants a Senate Homeland Security Committee investigation into WHO’s actions.

Fox News reported former national security adviser John Bolton also has been critical of the WHO.

He called the Tedros an “accomplice to China’s massive coverup” and said he should resign.

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