MADISON — The World Health Organization followed Communist China’s propaganda instead of the science on the origins of COVID-19. It ignored Taiwan’s early questions and warnings about the virus and its spread. Yet, one of President Biden’s first acts was to restore the United States’ membership in the troubled global agency.
A bill in the House would cut off U.S. funding to the controversial health organization.
President Trump in 2020 withdrew the U.S. and its generous funding, citing the WHO’s failure to make necessary reforms. At the time, the United States provided more than 15 percent of the organization’s funding — by far the largest share.
The U.S. has historically been one of the largest funders of WHO, providing between $200 million and $600 million annually over the last decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“We have deep concerns over whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible,” Trump said in April 2020. He accused the WHO of failing to adequately keep the international community apprised of the threat of the coronavirus.
“The WHO failed in this duty, and must be held accountable,” Trump went on. He added that the WHO had ignored “credible information” in December 2019 that the virus could be transmitted from human to human.
American taxpayers are back on the hook, paying for a global organization that has been widely criticized for its lack of accountability.
Members of congress, including U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) are championing a House bill that would defund “the corrupt” WHO.
‘‘No Taxpayer Funding for the World Health Organization Act’’ would do as it says, prohibit the United States from providing any assessed or voluntary contributions to the World Health Organization.
Critics say ending the United States’ commitment would prevent “our best experts” from being in the room when important health discussions are taking place.
But the United Nations’ health entity has yet to face any real consequences for its kowtowing to China and its many failures in dealing with a devastating pandemic.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic first began in Wuhan, China, it has become increasingly clear that the UN-affiliated World Health Organization has become little more than a subsidiary of Communist China,” Tiffany said last week in his latest letter to constituents. “For more than two years, the WHO — at its corrupt leader Tedros Ghebreyesus — have been covering for Beijing, and actively working against the interests of American taxpayers.”
Of course, the House bill is mainly symbolic at this point. Even if it should survive the current Democrat-controlled congress, Biden would surely veto it.
But Tiffany says someone has to hold the organization accountable.
“More than 16 months later (after Biden restored funding to “this incompetent global bureaucracy”) nothing has changed,” the congressman said. Tedros has been given a second term as WHO boss, and the WHO is once again poised to reject Taiwan’s participation in the group. This has gone on long enough.”