News

Sen. Graham: ‘No More Money For W.H.O.’ Until They Have New Leadership

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday vowed to strip funding for the World Health Organization from the next appropriations bill because of its pro-China virus.

During an appearance on Fox News’ “The Story,” Graham agreed with President Trump’s view that W.H.O. under the current leadership has become “very China-centric” and unworthy of the United States’ funding.

“We’re going to put a hold on the W.H.O.,” Trump announced in his coronavirus press conference, Tuesday. “We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it.”

“In the next appropriations bill, there’s not going to be any money for the W.H.O. I’m in charge of the appropriations subcommittee,” Graham told host Martha McCallum. “I’m not going to support funding the W.H.O. under its current leadership. They’ve been deceptive, they’ve been slow, and they’ve been Chinese apologists. I don’t think they’re a good investment, under the current leadership, for the United States. And until they change their behavior and get new leadership, I think it’s in America’s best interests to withhold funding because they’ve failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus and did the same thing in 2015.”

The senator also pointed out that W.H.O. attacked the president when he shut down travel from China in January.

“Not only did they praise President Xi, they criticized President Trump,” Graham noted.

“Here’s the point. Without China lying to the world about how the disease is transmitted, withholding information about the level of infection, [and] silencing doctors, there would be no pandemic,” Graham charged, adding that “China is a pandemic incubator” because of its unsanitary wet markets.

“No more money to the W.H.O. until they get new people in charge who understand that they’re there to help the world fight disease, not apologize for China,” the S.C. Republican declared.

Graham also agreed with President Trump on the need to bring the medical supply chain back to the United States.

“We’re in a terrible spot having to depend on China to make our antibiotics, our personal protection equipment … that supply chain needs to come back into the United States,” he said.

A group of House Republicans led by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) introduced legislation on Tuesday to withhold funding from W.H.O. until Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus resigns.

As Fox News pointed out, the U.S. is the largest contributor to the organization, and thus has significant leverage:

Reschenthaler, along with more than 20 other House Republican co-sponsors, backed the resolution that says “the United States should withhold the contribution of Federal funds to the World Health Organization until Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus resigns and an international commission to investigate the World Health Commission is established.”…

The United States is the single largest contributor to the WHO. The most recent invoice from the WHO to the United States, which is one of many countries that fund the organization, was for nearly $116 million per year. The United States also voluntarily gives between approximately $100 million and $400 million more per year to the WHO for specific projects – contributions that totaled over $400 million in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available.

Update:

At a media briefing Wednesday, Dr Tedros, the Director General of W.H.O., made some comments that struck some people as a threat.

Before he was elected to lead the W.H.O. in 2017, Tedros was a career (left-wing) politician who had never practiced as a medical doctor, according to the Daily Mail. He was born in what is now Eritrea and began his work under the Communist Derg junta.

Shortly after his election to the WHO, a report in The Times said: ‘Chinese diplomats had campaigned hard for the Ethiopian, using Beijing’s financial clout and opaque aid budget to build support for him among developing countries.’