Biden restores $200 million to scandal-ridden WHO, admits ‘deep concerns’ remain
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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Biden administration has notified the World Health Organization (WHO) that it will contribute $200 million by the end of the month, restoring the foreign aid the Trump administration had canceled in response to the scandal-plagued international body’s handling of COVID-19.
"Today, I’m pleased to confirm that by the end of the month, the United States intends to pay over $200 million in assessed and current obligations to the WHO,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a UN Security Council meeting Wednesday, Fox News reports. “This is a key step forward in fulfilling our financial obligations as a WHO member, and it reflects our renewed commitment to ensuring the WHO has the support it needs to lead the global response to the pandemic, even as we work to reform it in the future.”
The announcement follows President Joe Biden’s move to formally rejoin the WHO on his first day in office, claiming in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the organization “plays a crucial role in the world’s fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as well as countless other threats to global health and health security.”
Last April, former President Donald Trump announced a temporary suspension of the more than $400 million the United States sends the pro-abortion UN entity every year, pending a review of its “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
A month later, he notified WHO general-director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the administration’s review “confirmed many of the serious concerns I raised last month” as to the international body’s “repeated missteps” and “China centric” nature, and that withdrawal would be permanent if the WHO didn’t “commit to major substantive improvements,” including “demonstrat[ing] independence from China.”
Critics have faulted the organization for, among other offenses, opposing bans on travel from China that could have limited the reach of COVID-19, and for legitimizing the false claims coming out of the Chinese government that initially downplayed the gravity of the situation and covered up the Communist regime’s mishandling of it.
“In December, the WHO refused to act on or publicize Taiwan’s warning that the new respiratory infection emerging in China could pass from human to human,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote. “In mid January, despite accumulating evidence of patients contracting what we now know as COVID-19 from other people, the organization repeated the [Chinese Communist Party’s] lie that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. In January, the WHO, at Beijing’s behest, also blocked Taiwan from participating in critical meetings to coordinate responses to the coronavirus and even reportedly provided wrong information about the virus’s spread in Taiwan.”
Population Research Institute head and China expert Steve Mosher added that Ghebreyesus and his senior adviser, Dr. Bruce Aylward, have been “carrying water” for the Chinese regime, from backing claims that the virus didn’t originate in China to praising the regime’s handling of the outbreak.
Even while restoring support for the WHO, the Biden administration has tacitly acknowledged that suspicion of the organization is not unfounded, expressing last week “deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the [WHO’s] COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them. It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government.”
Nevertheless, the WHO appears to have reciprocated Biden’s long-running support by changing its criteria for recording a positive COVID-19 test the same day Biden was inaugurated, resulting in sharp declines in the official worldwide COVID-19 numbers.