Who’s on First at the WHO: The CCP Runs It – and We Must Leave It
The World Health Organization (WHO) was established in 1948 as a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) charged with directing and coordinating international health within the UN system. It has a budget of over $2 billion and nearly 8,000 employees in 150 countries. It is supposed to be impartial, and its mission is to ensure the attainment of the highest possible level of health by all people.
But over the past two weeks, the WHO has come under intense scrutiny for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. has accused the WHO of failing to provide accurate and timely information about the virus and of being too deferential to China, where the outbreak began. President Trump has suspended funding to the WHO, pending a review of its actions.
In response, the WHO and its defenders have accused the U.S. of politicizing the pandemic and of scapegoating the organization for the failures of its own response. They argue that the WHO has done its best to navigate a difficult and unpredictable situation, and that it has been transparent and cooperative with all countries, including China.
But the truth is that the WHO has a long history of being influenced and even controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP sees the WHO as a tool to advance its own interests, both domestically and internationally. It has used its power and influence within the organization to suppress information about public health crises, to silence critics, and to promote its own propaganda.
For example, during the 2003 SARS outbreak, the CCP withheld critical information from the WHO, which delayed efforts to contain the virus and led to unnecessary deaths. In 2013, the CCP intervened to prevent the WHO from declaring a public health emergency over the H7N9 bird flu outbreak, which also led to unnecessary deaths. And in 2020, the CCP pressured the WHO to downplay the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, which allowed the virus to spread unchecked for weeks and led to a global pandemic.
It is clear that the CCP runs the WHO, and that we can no longer trust the organization to act in the best interests of public health. We must leave the WHO and establish a new international health organization that is truly independent and impartial.
This will not be easy, and it will require the cooperation of many countries. But it is necessary if we are to prevent future pandemics and protect the health and wellbeing of all people. We cannot allow the CCP to control the WHO, and we cannot allow politics to get in the way of public health.
Who’s on first at the WHO? It should be the people. Let’s make sure it is.