by WorldTribune Staff, April 17, 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2017 touted its “strategic partnership” with China at the same time its new director-general traveled to Beijing to cement the organization’s ties with the communist nation.
“Director-General leads WHO delegation to the Belt and Road Forum for Health Cooperation” said a WHO press release on Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ plans to attend a Belt and Road conference in Beijing on Aug. 18-19, 2017.
“Mr. Tedros‘ visit is to establish a new vision for WHO-China strategic partnership for the next 5–7 years,” the statement said.
Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, said that communist China paid “bribes” to Ethiopia when Tedros was a cabinet minister there.
Cotton has highly criticized Beijing for what he says is an unprecedented coverup of a health catastrophe that has killed thousands globally. He offered the Ethiopian history as a way to explain Tedros‘ continued defense of China.
Republicans have accused Tedros of being a China “puppet” by repeating the communist party’s inaccurate coronavirus assessment in January, such as it was not spreading human-to-human when in fact it was. Tedros also echoed Beijing’s opposition to travel bans to thwart the spread of COVID-19.
President Donald Trump announced earlier this week that he was cutting off U.S. funding to the WHO. Leftists were outraged by Trump’s move.
Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, tweeted: “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”
China analyst and author Gordon G. Chang responded to Gates, tweeting: “The #WorldHealthOrganization has not “slowed the spread” of #COVID19, @melindagates. In fact, it helped #China spread this disease beyond its borders by arguing against travel bans and propagating the notion that #coronavirus was not H2H transmissible. This does not trouble you?”
Along with cutting off funds to the WHO, many lawmakers are also calling for Tedros to step down.
“The only way we can have confidence in the WHO in the short term is if Dr. Tedros leaves and his senior team leaves,” Cotton said on “Fox and Friends.”
Cotton noted that Tedros “has a well established reputation for corruption going back to being a minister in Ethiopia when China was handing out bribes there as part of their ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. And going back to the earliest days of this pandemic the WHO under his leadership seemed to prioritize political correctness and sucking up to China, not trying to focus on what their name calls for which is world health.”
Cotton said China’s original explanation that the virus leaked from a wild animal market is not believable. He says there is “circumstantial evidence” the pathogen escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan where scientists are researching the various coronaviruses carried by bats.
“You can see how the Chinese communist party has continued to lie about this from the very beginning as if they have something to coverup,” said Cotton, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “If that is the case it really is the biggest, the costliest, the most deadly coverup in the history of mankind.”
Belt and Road is a pet project of Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping. “It involves Chinese firms moving into agreeable countries to supply workers and perform public works,” Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough noted. “Critics say it is, in effect, a Beijing expansionist operation to gain an economic and a political foothold and counter American influences.”
Tedros is a microbiologist, not a physician. He served as health and foreign minister as a member of Ethiopia’s ruling leftist Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which ousted military rule over 20 years ago.
Tedros continued his association with Belt and Road as WHO director.