WHO We Don’t Need - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
WHO We Don’t Need
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (YouTube screenshot)

Last October, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said the UN was about to run out of money. “The situation continues to deteriorate,” he added, calling it the deepest deficit in a decade. “We risk exhausting peacekeeping cash reserves and will enter November without enough cash to pay payrolls.” The unpaid balance of nations’ dues reportedly exceeded $1 billion.

President Trump shrugged off Guterres’s warning, saying that other nations should pay up, not just the United States. If only he had undertaken to make the massive cut in U.S. funding of the UN that the organization has earned.

The United Nations has, since its inception, been a vehicle for adversaries of the United States to gain publicity and thwart our international policies. As my friend (and President Reagan’s Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN) Jose Sorzano always reminds me, the members of the UN General Assembly believe that the U.S. treasury is the common heritage of mankind.

America pays about 22 percent of the UN’s annual budget, which amounts to over $1.2 billion a year. Our voluntary contributions to the UN and its many agencies amounted to another $2.2 billion in 2017.

It’s a lousy investment. For example, for over a decade the International Atomic Energy Agency, led by Egyptian Mohammed ElBaradei, was the principal apologist for the Iranian nuclear weapons program. UN “peacekeeping” forces have engaged in massive abuse of some of the populations they were supposed to protect. And, as I document in my book about the UN — Inside the Asylum — the UN’s bureaucracies are vastly overpaid and rife with corruption.

For decades, conservatives have been advocating, to no avail, a major reduction in U.S. funding for the UN. One of the reasons for our lack of success is that the UN has its own well-funded lobbying organization in the U.S.: the UN Foundation, established by a billion-dollar grant in 1998 from Ted Turner. As evidenced by our continued funding of the UN despite its failures and its general opposition to American foreign policy, the UN Foundation is a stronger lobby than the NRA.

While researching Inside the Asylum, I interviewed British historian Paul Johnson. He told me, “The UN is now a central problem for the world because we take too much notice of it.”

Indeed, we place too much importance on what the UN pretends to do, even though, in truth, much of what it does is meaningless. There are two aspects to this problem.

First, the UN Security Council passes resolutions that supposedly have the force of international law. But nations ranging from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to the ayatollahs’ Iran and Kim Jong Un’s North Korea ignore resolutions against them without penalty.

Second, some U.S. presidents try to transfer their foreign policy responsibility to the UN. Our worst president so far — Barack Obama — obtained the UN’s blessing for his nuclear weapons agreement with Iran instead of submitting it to the Senate for ratification and then pretended the UN’s action was sufficient to validate it.

The latest proof of Johnson’s statement comes from the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO is supposed to be the international leader fighting epidemics around the world.

WHO has its own “constitution,” the preamble to which provides that governments have the responsibility for the health of their peoples and that “Informed opinion and active co-operation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of the health of the people.”

According to the Washington Times (referring to a report in Science magazine), the U.S. paid about 15 percent of WHO’s budgets in 2018 and 2019. That amounted to $237 million through UN dues assessments and another $656 million in voluntary payments.

This year, our return on those investments has been comprised of WHO’s defense of China’s actions on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reason WHO is so closely allied to China is that its current director, Ethiopian politician-cum-UN bureaucrat Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, was elected to his post because of the efforts of the Chinese government. Ghebreyesus is not a physician and is the first non-M.D. to head the agency. He succeeded Dr. Margaret Chan, a Chinese-controlled Hong Kong bureaucrat.

Under Chan, as the Washington Examiner reported, WHO became a tool of the Chinese regime. Chan praised the North Korean health-care system, which is virtually nonexistent. She allied WHO with Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad, allowing him to repress a WHO report praising the Israeli health-care system. Before her tenure was up, Chan brought China’s Xi Jinping to WHO’s headquarters, the first such visit by a Chinese despot.

Now we come to the record of Ghebreyesus, WHO’s current chief, who met with Xi Jinping in January and has undertaken to apologize for China and disregard its massive misconduct in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Thursday, Republican members of House Oversight Committee wrote Ghebreyesus a letter demanding an explanation for WHO’s engaging in what amounts to a coverup of the conduct of the Chinese government.

In that letter, the congressmen cited WHO’s praise of China’s “transparency” on the pandemic. China has engaged in a massive disinformation campaign on the pandemic and has been anything but transparent about its effects. For example, China has reported fewer than 3,500 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, but credible reports indicate that the reported number is tens of thousands less than China suffered.

The letter also cites a January tweet by WHO:

On January 14, 2020, the WHO tweeted that “[p]reliminary investigations conducted by Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.” These preliminary investigations included China jailing any doctor that disseminated any information about COVID-19 not first cleared through state-run media.

In a Tuesday tweet, President Trump indicated that he was looking at defunding WHO. Almost immediately, Ghebreyesus attacked Trump for “politicizing” the pandemic crisis. Ghebreyesus said, “If you don’t want many more body bags you refrain from politicizing it — please quarantine politicizing COVID.”

There were mixed signals from the administration on WHO defunding. After President Trump said that funding to WHO would be cut, Vice President Mike Pence said we probably wouldn’t do that. Later the Office of Management and Budget was reportedly looking at how to cut U.S. funding of WHO.

U.S. funding of WHO shouldn’t be reduced; it should be eliminated entirely. The same goes for the dozens of other UN agencies and organizations that are useful idiots of our adversaries.

The UN would be better off if it were run by the Mafia. They do a far better job of holding their employees accountable for job performance.

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