US May Permanently Cut WHO Funding: Pompeo

By Zachary Stieber

The United States could permanently axe funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), a member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet said on Thursday.

Trump ordered a pause on U.S. funding for the WHO, a United Nations body, last week and American officials are analyzing how it’s being run.

The United States pushed for reforms to the WHO after the SARS pandemic, but those proved fruitless when the COVID-19 pandemic started in China and the communist-run country failed to accurately notify international health officials of the emerging threat, Pompeo said Wednesday. WHO officials have repeatedly defended the Chinese Communist Party despite widespread evidence of deception and manipulation.

Ratcheting up his stance on Thursday, Pompeo indicated in an interview with Fox News that he supports growing calls for the resignation of WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom (L) shakes hands with Chinese regime leader Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 28, 2020. (Naohiko Hatta/AFP via Getty Images)

“I think that’s right,” Pompeo told host Laura Ingraham when asked if he was not ruling out a change in the WHO’s leadership.

“Or even more than that. It may be the case that the United States can never return to underwriting, having U.S. taxpayer dollars go to the WHO. We may need to have even bolder change than that,” he added.

“I think we need to take a real hard look at the WHO and what we do coming out of this. We reformed this back in 2007, so this isn’t the first time we’ve had to deal with the shortcomings of this organization that sits inside the United Nations. We need a fix. We need a structural fix with the WHO.”

The United States gave the WHO over $400 million last year. During the pause in funding, American officials are looking at switching efforts, including on polio eradication, to other groups.

The 2007 reforms included implementing a rule that countries needed to report outbreaks of new illnesses within 24 hours. Another change was giving the WHO’s chief the ability to make public information about a member country flouting the rules.

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The logo of the World Health Organization at its headquarters in Geneva on Feb. 24, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Tedros and other officials have defended themselves and the actions they took and have regularly deflected questions about issues with China’s response to the emergency of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

Pompeo on Thursday also said the CCP still hasn’t allowed American scientists to enter China and visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a high-level lab located close to where the virus first emerged.

Without outside access to the lab, Pompeo said last week, scientists can’t properly evaluate how the virus started and spread around the world.

Two American scientists were allowed into China in February as part of a WHO team. The report the team issued on its visit in conjunction with China was extremely positive towards China’s response.

Requests for interviews with the American scientists are pending.

From The Epoch Times