The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the re-election of its director-general Tuesday despite allegations he echoed Chinese state talking points during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who previously served as Ethiopia’s health minister and foreign minister according to the WHO website, will start his second term on Aug. 16, the organization announced on Twitter. Tedros, who faced no competition for the post, has expressed admiration for China’s handling of the coronavirus and received harsh criticism for multiple missteps in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AP reported.
Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee concluded the WHO under Ghebreyesus echoed the Chinese party line during the initial outbreak of the virus in a June 2020 report.
“The World Health Organization under the leadership of Director General Tedros only exacerbated the problem by repeatedly ignoring warnings about the severity of the virus, including from their own health experts, while at the same time parroting the [Chinese Communist Party’s] propaganda without independently confirming their claims,” Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said in a June 2020 press release.
China also backed Tedros for his first term in 2017 when he defeated David Nabarro after extensive maneuvering by China and an endorsement from Robert Mugabe, then the leader of the African Union and president of Zimbabwe, The Washington Post reported. Tedros won his first term despite accusations of covering up three cholera epidemics during his time as Ethiopia’s health minister, The New York Times reported.
The WHO repeatedly praised China for transparency during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic even as China covered up the virus, lauding Chinese authorities in multiple press conferences and on social media in January 2020. The WHO also criticized Donald Trump for calling the organization “China-centric.”
The World Health Organization did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.
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