Republicans on the House Oversight Committee on Thursday urged Democrats leading the committee to investigate the Chinese government’s influence over the World Health Organization.
Ranking member Jim Jordan along with five Republican ranking members on oversight subcommittees sent a letter to Democratic Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney calling on Democrats to investigate China’s sway over the WHO.
“The potential misuse of taxpayer dollars is at the heart of the Committee’s jurisdiction, and we owe it to the American people to evaluate how the WHO has been spending their hard-earned money,” the letter read, noting that American taxpayers are “the single largest contributor to the WHO,” contributing many times China’s contribution.
“Notwithstanding this drastic imbalance in funding, the United States should not support organizations that promulgate communist propaganda instead of the facts. Our republic is not obligated to hand money to an entity that espouses ideals of international cooperation while furthering the Chinese government’s machinations,” the letter continued.
The GOP committee members noted Maloney’s own statement acknowledging that “the WHO has shortcomings that must be corrected,” although she opposed the decision by the Trump administration to suspend U.S. funding of the organization until a review is conducted to assess the WHO’s role in “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
“In light of such an admission, coupled with multiple media reports of WHO’s failures, we request immediate briefings, and hearings next month, on the WHO’s relationship with the Community Party of China and its widely criticized response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” the Republicans wrote.
The WHO also attracted harsh criticism after it praised China for its transparency and willingness to share information regarding the nature and spread of the virus. The Trump administration and U.S. lawmakers have since cast doubt on China’s good faith in sharing information about the outbreak and have criticized the WHO for apparently taking the communist country at its word.
The GOP lawmakers also commended the president’s decision to pause WHO funding temporarily, saying the organization’s “inaction and delay undoubtedly cost American lives.”
“If Democrats were serious about oversight of American tax dollars, they’d investigate the WHO’s ties to China. It’s no secret that the WHO has been using American tax dollars to peddle Communist China’s talking points about COVID-19 for months,” A senior Republican aide told National Review. “This practice should offend every American, no matter the party. The United States Congress should lead the way in opposing such propaganda.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the U.S. has over a million positive cases of the coronavirus, and over 61,700 people have died after being infected.