Vice President Mike Pence promised that the United States will hold the World Health Organization accountable for how it has dealt with the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“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 Wednesday on Fox News. “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.”
President Trump said this week that the organization had a mismanaged response to the pandemic that has reached more than 1 million cases worldwide.
“We’re going to put a hold on money sent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it, and we’re going to see,” Trump said Tuesday. “They called it wrong. They call it wrong. They really, they missed the call.”
Currently, the U.S. assessed contribution to the WHO is 22% of the total members’ assessed contributions.
When the outbreak began in China late last year, the Chinese government reportedly silenced whistleblowers who warned that the virus could spread easily and cause a global pandemic.
Chinese officials called the COVID-19 virus “controllable” and downplayed the danger it posed to the rest of the world. The WHO endorsed Beijing’s claims.
“They could have been more forceful, especially in the initial stages in the crisis when there was a cover-up and there was inaction,” Yanzhong Huang, a global health expert specializing in China at Seton Hall University, told the New York Times.
After Trump’s attacks, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday: “If you don’t want many more body bags, you refrain from politicizing it — please quarantine politicizing COVID.”
Pence praised Trump for taking the coronavirus more seriously than the WHO as the spread of the virus began in America.
“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 said. “We’ll get to the answers of that, and we’ll create accountability — just like the American people would want us to do.”
More than 400,000 Americans have contracted the coronavirus, and nearly 14,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus.
Author: Dominick Mastrangelo
Source: Washington Examiner: Pence vows to make WHO answer ‘tough questions’ about coronavirus outbreak