(USA Features) Sen. Tom Cotton said Friday that China to Ethiopia when World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom was a cabinet minister there.
During an appearance on Fox News, Cotton, Arkansas Republican and a staunch China critic, noted that in 2017, WHO discussed a “strategic partnership” with Beijing as Tedros prepared to travel there as one of his first acts as the organization’s new leader.
Cotton also said that the coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented coverup of a health disaster that has killed thousands of people around the world. He said China’s history with Ethiopia and Tedros helps explain why the WHO chief is continuing to defend Beijing.
“The only way we can have confidence in the WHO in the short term is if Dr. Tedros leaves and his senior team leaves,” Cotton said.
“He has a well-established reputation for corruption going back to being a minister in Ethiopia when China was handing out bribes there as part of their ‘Belt and Road’ initiative,” he continued.
“And going back to the earliest days of this pandemic the WHO under his leadership seemed to prioritize political correctness and sucking up to China, not trying to focus on what their name calls for which is world health,” he said.
Republicans have accused Tedros of being a Chinese “puppet” for repeating the Communist regime’s inaccurate coronavirus assessment in January, such as it was not spreading human-to-human when in fact it was.
Also, Tedros has been critical of travel bans against China, though U.S. health experts have noted that President Trump’s early decision to enact one is responsible for saving American lives.
Cotton said that China’s explanation that the virus originated at a wet market is not plausible. He pointed to “circumstantial evidence” that it more likely came from the country’s only Level 4 biolab as a part of a research project that somehow escaped.
“You can see how the Chinese communist party has continued to lie about this from the very beginning as if they have something to coverup,” said Cotton, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “If that is the case it really is the biggest, the costliest, the most deadly coverup in the history of mankind.”
Tedros is a microbiologist, not a physician. He served as health and foreign minister as a member of Ethiopia’s ruling leftist Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which ousted military rule over 20 years ago.