In an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration would have “tough questions” for the World Health Organization and its muddled handling of the coronavirus outbreak over the first few months of 2020. Acknowledging that certain missteps in the early days of the pandemic have raised serious concerns about WHO’s allegiance to China, Pence said that President Donald Trump is determined to hold the organization responsible for its actions.
“This is a president who believes in accountability, and the American taxpayers provide tens of millions of dollars to the World Health Organization,” Pence said. “And as the president said yesterday, I suspect we will continue to do that, but that doesn’t mean that at the right time in the future we aren’t going to ask the tough questions about how the World Health Organization could have been so wrong.
“Literally at the time President Trump stood up the coronavirus task force in January and suspended all travel from China, just days before that, the World Health Organization was continuing to diminish the threat of the coronavirus and its impact in China,” Pence continued. “We’ll get to the answers of that and we’ll create accountability, just like the American people would want us to do.”
This week, President Trump warned that his administration was “going to look into” cutting off the nearly $500 million a year the U.S. gives to the WHO, accusing them of getting “nearly every shot wrong” on the coronavirus since it began. In an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump noted that the organization was “very China-centric,” echoing concerns from lawmakers who have all-but-accused the WHO of spreading CCP propaganda in the early days of the outbreak.
Though he’s been criticized by everyone from the United States to Taiwan, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus remains defiant, telling reporters this week: “If you don’t want many more body bags you refrain from politicizing it – please quarantine politicizing COVID.”
Wow. Okay. We’ve seen Trump take some harsh shots at his critics, but we’re not sure he’s ever gone as far as to say that people would die if he didn’t stop getting criticized. Someone should tell Tedros that this isn’t about “politicizing COVID,” it’s about figuring out where WHO’s loyalties lie.
Is this an organization committed to global health, or is this an organization committed to protecting Beijing?