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Senator Rick Scott demands investigation of World Health Organization

Florida Senator Rick Scott wants lawmakers to look into the WHO’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit: AP

WASHINGTON — Did the global agency responsible for protecting the planet from pandemics help a country keep a deadly outbreak quiet? That’s what Florida’s junior senator says he wants to find out.

Rick Scott released a statement Wednesday calling on Congress to “investigate the World Health Organization’s (WHO) role in helping Communist China cover up information regarding the threat of the Coronavirus.”

“The mission of the WHO is to get public health information to the world so every country can make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe,” Sen. Scott said.

“We know Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have, what they knew and when they knew it – and the WHO never bothered to investigate further. Their inaction cost lives," Scott asserted.

Here’s what Scott is claiming:

  • Chinese state-run media used comments from a WHO official as propaganda
  • WHO praised China’s coronavirus response and transparency, even as Chinese leaders admitted issues with their own response.
  • WHO refused to answer questions about Taiwan, which has been refused membership in the organization.
  • WHO willfully parroted propaganda and misinformation from the Chinese Communist Party that put families’ health at risk

Scott included a Jan 14 tweet from the WHO which said Chinese authorities found no clear evidence the coronavirus spread from person to person.

Credit: Senator Rick Scott (R-FL)

RELATED: China accused of censoring journalists, critical information about coronavirus

Concerns about China's role in allowing the outbreak to become a pandemic have been widely reported.

According to CBS News, scientists with the Lancet Medical Journal said in February Chinese authorities had preliminary information about the coronavirus more than two weeks before it was released to the public.

"They were not transparent at all, I would say, during the month of December. As we know, there was a doctor trying to raise the alarm, " Keith Richburg, director of the University of Hong Kong Journalism & Media Studies Centre told CBS News.

That doctor was Li Wenliang. He tried to warn others of the new virus in December but was reprimanded by police in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

He later contracted COVID-19 and died in early February.

Nonprofit organization Chinese Human Rights Defenders said more than 350 citizens have been detained for talking about the viral outbreak online.  

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