McSally calls on WHO director to step down
Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) is calling on the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) to step down as Republicans pounce on the organization for what they say is a role in a Chinese cover-up of its coronavirus statistics.
McSally, who is also in the midst of a fierce election fight, said on Fox Business on Thursday morning that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should step down over the WHO’s handling of COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China.
McSally said the WHO failed to adequately screen figures coming from Beijing regarding its number of cases and fatalities as reports emerge that the government’s statistics may be rosier than the reality.
“I’ve never trusted a communist. And their cover-up of this virus that originated with them has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world,” McSally said. “The WHO needs to stop covering for them. I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down. We need to take some action to address this issue. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they have done here while we have people dying across the globe.”
When asked for comment, a WHO spokesperson said that membership in the group carries with it the expectation of “timely and accurate” reports and the responsibility “to prioritize public health, nationally and internationally.”
McSally’s comments follow remarks from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), a vocal China hawk, calling for a congressional probe into the WHO, accusing the group of “helping Communist China cover up” the full extent of the virus’s spread.
McSally agreed with Scott, saying Congress should “[address] the WHO as well.”
Tedros, at a press conference Thursday, insisted that his group has received an avalanche of legitimate data and urged observers not to “profile” countries over a perceived lack of transparency.
“There’s been a deluge of fantastic, scientifically based, evidence-based publications coming in on a daily basis,” he said. “I think we need to be very careful also not to be profiling certain parts of the world as being non-cooperative or not transparent.”
“And we need to look at transparency across the board, and we need to look at solidarity across the board,” he added.
Martha McSally calls on WHO director to resign
Sen. Martha McSally is calling on the World Health Organization director general to step down over what she deems his assistance in covering up China’s underreporting of the coronavirus, part of an escalating series of GOP criticisms of the organization.
The Arizona Republican said on Fox Business on Thursday that Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should resign over the organization’s handling of the virus, which originated in China. While China has claimed it has essentially flattened new cases of the deadly virus now killing thousands of Americans, new reporting has questioned China’s rosy data.
“I’ve never trusted a communist. And their cover-up of this virus that originated with them has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world,” said McSally, who is up for reelection this fall. “The WHO needs to stop covering for them. I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down. We need to take some action to address this issue. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they have done here while we have people dying across the globe.”
Earlier this week, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) called for a congressional probe into the WHO and indicated that perhaps the United States should withhold funding for “helping Communist China cover up” the ramifications of the virus. McSally agreed that “we need to look at addressing the WHO as well.” She also said U.S. debts to China “should be forgiven, as a minimum.”
Tarik Jašarević, a spokesman for the WHO, did not directly address McSally’s demands. But he said the organization expects members “to report data in a timely and accurate manner.”
“Membership in WHO and signing up to the International Health Regulations both carry with it the responsibility to prioritize public health, nationally and internationally, not only because global health norms say so, but because the two are inextricably linked, as this global pandemic has made clear to the world,” Jašarević said.