Commentary / Coronavirus

Trump Right to Demand Accountability of W.H.O. – It Works

President Trump is insisting on accountability at the World Health Organization WHO), which receives hundreds of millions of dollars from American taxpayers annually. The President is right to do so. Done right – he will succeed. Demanding accountability by withholding funds from wayward international organizations works. I know, because we did it to get UN accountability.

On April 15, President Trump placed a “hold on all funding to the WHO,” as “mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic is investigated.” He demanded clarity on alleged complicity between WHO and Communist China, including failure to release critical information concerning the deadly virus’ origins, transmission, virility, infections and deaths.

In particular, he noted WHO ignored warnings in December 2019 from democratic Taiwan and Chinese doctors saying this Wuhan-origin virus was transmissible human-to-human. As late as the fourth week of January, WHO claimed the virus presented “no public health emergency of international concern,” and praised China – even as inaccurate transmission, infection and death numbers mounted, false stories had China blaming the United States, viral samples got destroyed, and indications surfaced that the virus was released by China’s Wuhan Virology Institute.

Again inexplicably, WHO opposed international travel restrictions to and from China, while praising internal travel restrictions. As the US President pressed to close flights from China, WHO did nothing to reduce international spread – a decision with catastrophic results.

More broadly, WHO has long needed reform and accountability. They are politicized at the top, have regularly misfired in preparing, detecting and timely warning on infectious disease developments. The antithesis of transparency, they have fostered questions about data access, accuracy and manipulation.

As an international organization spending hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars, they need to be reminded the money, agenda, and goals are not exclusively theirs, not without cross-checks.

The WHO’s willingness to bend under Chinese influence, defending indefensible informational gaps, material omissions, false facts, trends, numbers, and origins of the virus requires investigation. WHO’s willingness to do this while China threatened to withhold lifesaving medical supplies is beyond pale.

Since the United States is responsible for $893 million dollars of the WHO budget every two-year cycle, President Trump has said: No more political games. He accused WHO of placing “political correctness over lifesaving measures,” and has initiated a 60- to 90-day investigation.

From personal experience, he is likely to realign leadership, at least for a time. In 2004, while serving as Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, I discovered the United Nations was spending millions of US tax dollars on global promotion of illicit narcotics and de facto drug legalization. The promotion violated US statute and treaty law.

As a result, I threatened to stop all payments to the United Nations UNODC organization, until they halted the practice, which flew in the face of US policy and global interests, never mind what Americans wanted hard-earned tax dollars spent on. Instead of combatting global crime, the UN group was effectively promoting crime around the world – in the name of prevention and treatment.

The New York Times and others ripped my decision, assessing the United Nations knew better than an Assistant Secretary of State how to spend US dollars. The UN’s head of the Office of Drugs and Crime flew to Washington to force a change of course. I did not change course.

Instead, I penned a formal letter to the UN’s point person, reinforcing our decision that US dollars would not be forthcoming – until the UN’s pro-drug legalization propaganda was removed from every piece of UN literature and every UN website around the world. No exceptions.

The blowback was instant and predictable. We did not moderate the position. As one periodical at the time reported, in 2005: “Existing tensions reached a new peak after a meeting between the Executive Director of the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, and US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Robert Charles, on November 10, 2004.”

As the periodical explained: “At the meeting the US government – the biggest donor of UNODC – threatened Costa to cut funding to UNODC unless he assured that UNODC would abstain from any involvement in or expression of support” for illicit drug legalization and harm reduction.

Happily, our insistence on accountability proved worth the time, blowback, and effort. A little resolve produced a better policy mix, greater attention to US concerns and greater fidelity to US taxpayers.

As the same periodical reported: “The next day, Mr. Costa wrote a mea culpa letter… making the required promises to secure continued US funding.” In his letter, UNODC’s director corrected course, noting “there are people working disingenuously … and these people can misuse our well-intentioned statements for their own agenda,” and that “this we cannot allow.” Will not happen again.

So, that story ended well. The UN took down all pro-drug legalization propaganda worldwide – and overnight. They stopped using US tax dollars to promote their agenda, one contrary to US interests. They became accountable, responsible, and resumed serious anti-crime programs with US dollars.

Net-net, President Trump is right to insist on accountability. He is within rights to assert that WHO’s unaccountable behavior must stop, that WHO should serve the interests of Americans who pay their bills.
We have a right to expect better; they have an obligation to do better. Our expectations and their duties will endure – long after coronavirus has passed. To the point: Sometimes demanding accountability and brooking critics pays dividends. It has before. It will here.

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Carol Andrews
2 years ago

The President of the WHO is China’s puppet. This man is not even a Doctor. Under his guidance; in the country of his origin, there has been three Cholera out breaks that have killed thousands. The United Nations is a cesspool of Dark and Demonic people who’s mission’s, are to destroy Capitalism and set up a ONE WORLD DICTATOR, ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT and ONE WORLD RELIGION. If American’s don’t wake up to see that our President Trump is trying to protect us from all the Evil that is attacking our Capitalistic way of life, we “AMERICA” will be answering to a Communist super power. American’s are being duped and betrayed by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to believe they are looking out for Capitalism. “NOT TRUE AT ALL”. Example: If America goes to electronic currency, every American will lose 40% of there Wealth, There will be no more small business, they will be owned by the Government. Every dollar a person has will be kept track of by your Government, no savings they won’t know about. Every person will have to get an electronic tattoo for buying, selling and vaccinations. American’s will not be allowed to own property anymore, it will be taken back by the Government. This is what the Democrats will do sell out America. Nancy Pelosi has tried twice in the last SIX WEEKS to introduce this legislation. We CAN NOT let these United Nations supporters destroy American Capitalism.” WAKEUP AMERICA WAKEUP!!!” Help get the word out!!!

2 years ago

I agree. America should not contribute any funds until truth comes out. And then, America should contribute the same percentage as any other country to the WHO.

2 years ago

I thank God daily we have President Trump. No matter where he turns there is a Pandoras’ box for him to take care of. Obummer did his job alright. he left a mess as big as he is evil. We should stop supporting States like California, there are enough wealthy celebrities there who can do something for their own state. We need to stop sending money we need here. Kids who need food are not getting all that was promised them by Pelosi, our vets need homes for them and their families, our older folks need social security that is more than what some are getting. So many needs for our own people.

2 years ago

Write or call your congress representative and ask them to support H.R. 204 to get US out of the UN!

2 years ago

?to President Trump to think outside the box and not rubber stamp WHO acrtivities. WHO promotes drugs. Why?? Drug dealers make millions from drugs. They don’t need US $$$ from WHO to help them.

2 years ago

It is upsetting that such a renowned global organization such as WHO would absent all attempts to manage a truthful, public service! Yes, withhold all financial aid until they can prove themselves worthy!

Joann M Evjen
2 years ago

Absolutely! Quit funding WHO. And anybody else who doesn’t like the U.S.A.

2 years ago

I hope America is waking up and they see that president Trump is the best president we have ever had.Trump is what we need for this country and the people need to get behind him and we can make our country what it should be.Great

Philip Jarinko
2 years ago

I totally agree with Trump on “deFUNDing” the W.H.O. (the UN too). Back in the 70’s I worked in Central and South America, the Carribbean too, on tropical crop research and development. Many times when I would be home in PA for breaks of 6 to 10 weeks I would call the WHO to check on possible malarial or other disease outbreaks before going back in order to be properly prepared with shots, and meds that I could take with me. I would also call the not much help CDC and many times they just said call WHO. Well I found out early in my travels that the WHO would give me an all clear when the opposite was true. I traveled in the agricultural back areas and too many times malaria or some other communical disease was at issue in those areas. But I always did a final check with the people with whom I would be working. It’s a good thing that I did, because there are “several” times that I could have brought some exotic disease home to my family and PA. The W H O (United Nations and friends) are nothing but a bunch of corrupt hand out ” policrats ” keeping quiet about THINGS so various country leaders can keep their tourism going and the money flowing in their personal hands. To this day if you call to ask for records of disease outbreaks back then, isolated or otherwise, they will probably tell you that they have no records of such incidents. Of course they don’t.

2 years ago

Thank you Robert B. Charles for this article. It has opened a lot of eyes and minds to what is going on. Praise to President Trump. God bless America.

2 years ago
Reply to  Barb

Thank you Barb, always have hope. America is filled with good people. When good people are commissioned to do the right thing, feel the sense of duty that has long attached to many nationwide, it can be done. I was always gratified to see good people around me, doing the right thing. And in this instance, interestingly – like others about which I have never written – General Powell and the President never blinked twice. If it was right, do it. Makes service easy. Semper fi,

Glenn Lego
2 years ago

What about the “progressives “ who are going ahead and raising money for WHO. Like the celebrities, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and others?

2 years ago

finally. someone of status urging personal/national ethical responsibility

Henry Naizer
2 years ago

Where exactly is it enumerated in Art I, Sec 8, Sec 9 or Amendment 16 that Congress was given the power to take taxpayer money and give (Appropriate) it to a foreign nation or any other foreign entity, i.e. W.H.O.?

Mike Stevens
2 years ago

What about the $127,000,000 raised by the Together at Home Concert last Saturday night by the Democrat cronies that was for the WHO, I hope the hell that $$ is being withheld.

john sylvester nunan
2 years ago

the other WHO is a rock group and that is what the who i s doing dancing around the things it dosent want to talk about………

2 years ago

Isn’t it unconscionable the way the USA has been taken advantage of over and over by corrupt criminal tyrants. Good for President Trump again .Why should we pay their bills? It is so disappointing that some in our government are so irresponsible to let this go on. It sure looks like the Obama’s are connected to criminal enterprises. No surprise.

2 years ago
Reply to  mytake

Thank you! If you have good intent, plant the seeds, then walk away … a weed garden grows. America’s intent in supporting positive goals worldwide is good, but if the garden is not watched, weeded and kept faithfully, weeds grow. And they crowd out good. Thank you! Best, Robert

anna hubert
2 years ago

Defund the whole caboodle but the responsible one is China can it be wrestled to the ground

Brenda Blunt
2 years ago

Holding someone accountable is good as it lets them know that you are paying attention and making sure all is as it should be. Ifnthey don’t like it, then funding will be stopped permanently!!

2 years ago
Reply to  Brenda Blunt

Right you are!

Edgar Fletcher
2 years ago

You failed to mention the WHO director, who is completely corrupt.

2 years ago

Mr. Trump is the only President who has had the courage as well as the perseverance to follow through calling for accountability,to those who have gotten away with misrepresentation and fraud for decades. We must support him.

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