Issues & Insights
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Source: Wikimedia Commons

After The U.S. Leaves WHO, Should The U.N. Be Next?

I&I Editorial

President Donald Trump has served notice to the World Health Organization that the U.S. will no longer take part in its kleptocratic incompetence and its cozying up to dictators and tyrants, including its biggest influencer, China. The reckoning is long overdue. So is one with the United Nations, its parent organization, whose behavior has been far worse.

WHO is one of a number of global organizations, the U.N. among them, funded mainly by U.S. taxpayers. Despite its support from the U.S., WHO is yet another multilateral agency that acts as if its job is to oppose and confound America.

As such, WHO’s fumbling, overtly pro-China response to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year should be no surprise.

It’s now common knowledge that, at China’s urging and prodding, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, underplayed the initial outbreak of the virus.

WHO had long maintained China had informed it of the disease’s sudden appearance in Wuhan. But on June 29, WHO changed its timeline of events surrounding the outbreak, reflecting that in fact China hadn’t told it at all. No, WHO’s Beijing office learned of it from the internet.

The time lost in dealing with the viral threat proved costly. As the revised text in WHO’s timeline notes, “WHO’s Country Office in the People’s Republic of China picked up a media statement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission from their website on cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.”

So in other words, WHO didn’t even know what was wrong, only that there was an unusual “pneumonia of unknown cause” cluster in Wuhan. The Chinese government was not forthcoming.

Why did WHO’s Tedros pretend China had informed the organization when it didn’t?

He had forged a bond with China, a very special connection based on far-left politics. As Breitbart noted back in April, Tedros “is not a medical doctor and is a member of a Marxist-Leninist Ethiopian political party that analysts have listed as a perpetrator of terrorism.”

Quite a resume. Any wonder that WHO did China’s bidding, leading to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide? For the Communist Party in China, as elsewhere, individual lives are nothing, the party is everything. As Stalin reputedly said, one death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.

Tedros tacitly allowed China to keep Taiwan out of WHO, another favor for Chinese premier Xi Jinping.

Why so solicitous of Xi Jinping? RealClearPolitics sorted it out in a piece published last March. It’s linked to the years that Tedros served as foreign minister of Ethiopia:

“Between 2012 and 2016, when he held that post, China invested $13.6 billion in that African nation. The money went to a railway to connect Ethiopia to Djibouti. It was spent on building a six-lane highway. The funding funded a metro system and a skyscraper and then another one and another one. Politico documented how that Chinese cash transformed the skyline of Addis Ababa long before Tedros was at the helm of a global response to a pandemic.”

So, in other words, Tedros was basically Xi’s man at WHO.

“Tedros is the second-to-last person who should be heading the World Health Organization at this time,” foreign affairs commentator and China expert Gordon Chang told Fox News. “The last person is (Chinese President) Xi Jinping.”

So the U.S. decision to leave a corrupt organization should be applauded, not criticized.

We should never allow ourselves to be sullied by taking part in such incompetence, while paying for its officials’ lavish salaries and privileged bureaucratic perks.

We’d take it a step further, however. It’s become increasingly clear from observing the United Nations itself that it, too, suffers from many of the same ailments as WHO.

It spends billions and dollars but achieves little or nothing at all. It’s a feel-good bureaucracy that lets globalists pretend they’re addressing the world’s problems, but instead empowers dictators and authoritarians to do their worst.

Take but one example: the Human Rights Council. More than half its members are non-democracies, and include human rights violators Libya, Venezuela, Eritrea and others.

But what’s really strange about the U.N., and inexcusable, is its bizarre fixation on condemning Israel for lawful acts, while ignoring the killing, torturing and murder-by-government of many of its less-savory members.

Lest you think it an exaggeration, consider this: Since 2015, according the the U.N. Watch database, there have been 101 condemnatory resolutions against Israel brought to the floor of the General Assembly. All other nations total 35, six of which were against the U.S.

There are many, many other flaws with the New York-based U.N., far too many to enumerate here. Indeed, its misdeeds and malfeasance could fill several books.

At some point, as with WHO, we may decide that our continued participation in the travesty that is the U.N. just isn’t worth it anymore. It doesn’t keep peace, it doesn’t make people freer, it doesn’t create wealth.

Really, what does it do? Nothing.

In fact, created after World War II with the highest of ideals and ambitions, the U.N. has been a dismal failure. Maybe it’s time to walk away and force it to find another home.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • While the U.S. should do more to shake up the U.N., such as withholding payments when the U.N. does crazy stuff such as allowing terrorist states to sit in judgment of what constitutes human rights violations, no, the U.S. should not leave the U.N.

    The reasons the U.S. should stay are (1) there is a certain international gravitas in the organization existing in the U.S., and (2) the U.N.’s geographic location can be useful in behind the scenes (or sometimes in front of the scenes) diplomacy when needed. That’s true even in the time of Zoom and secure telephones.

  • The time has come to concede the United Nations is not more than a pipe dream; a causa sui endeavor that is nothing more than a platform for evil incarnate to eliminate Israel.

  • If the UN fails and is booted out of NYC, drug dealers and prostitutes will suffer bigly.

  • In return for footing the bill for over 20% of its budget, the UN’s chief contribution to our country is hosting by far the largest contingent of foreign intelligence operatives in 1 place in the entire world while simultaneously giving every 3rd world tyrant a stage on which to strut & demagogue our strategic interests. Give them 1 year to remove their diplomatic vermin from US soil & tear down the building.

  • Leave the UN? Nah, just stop funding the thing. Let it wither on the vine. As the collectivist wine turns to vinegar, we do what the rest of the world’s nations do, wax poetic about how “wonderful” the institution is, as it rots from the core, and falls apart from the lack of US largess. Let China fund the thing, let the Chinese people be saddled with the cost of global policing, and supporting those who are as corrupt as the Chinese leadership. Stand back, and watch the collapse of criminality.

  • It is long past time to send the UN to Brussels, where it really belongs, and to tear down the buildings so the site can be sold to produce some much-needed money.

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