Senate health committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said in a statement on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the WHO could make it harder to stop viruses from coming into the United States.
Alexander’s comment follows as Trump announced that he will withdraw its membership with the World Health Organization (WHO). Trump has criticized China for pressuring the WHO to mislead the world about the danger of the coronavirus.
Alexander — the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that the United States’ withdrawal from the WHO could make it harder to prevent future pandemics from entering the country.
I disagree with the president’s decision. Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it. Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need. And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States. If the administration has specific recommendations for reforms of the WHO, it should submit those recommendations to Congress, and we can work together to make those happen.
However, Breitbart News reported in March that the WHO echoed the Chinese government’s claim that there was no human-to-human transmission from the coronavirus.
“Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel [coronavirus] identified in [Wuhan],” the WHO wrote in January.
Rachel Bovard, a senior fellow for the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), said that United States’ membership in the WHO “literally did nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19 to the United States.”
WHO membership literally did nothing to stop the spread of COVID-19 to the United States. This is documented, public information. https://t.co/170uqWXlXP
— Rachel Bovard (@rachelbovard) July 7, 2020
The WHO later admitted that there was human-to-human transmission for the coronavirus.
In contrast, House Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Komer (R-KY) cheered the president’s withdrawal from the WHO, charging that the WHO’s parroting of Chinese coronavirus claims led to a staggering amount of American deaths.
He said in a statement on Tuesday:
Withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization was the right decision. China lied, the WHO complied, and Americans died. From the very start, the WHO and Secretary-General Tedros have proven that their priority has been to assist the Chinese government at the expense of the American people and the rest of the world. While China spread misinformation so it could hoard medical supplies, Tedros was praising them for their transparency. Now we also know that the WHO even lied to the world and this Committee about what China told them about the virus.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.