Senators send letter questioning COVID-19 naming process
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) raising questions about the process that the WHO is using to name COVID-19 variants. While the WHO says they are naming COVID-19 variants after letters in the Greek alphabet, they skipped the letter “Xi,” seemingly to avoid naming a variant after China’s president Xi Jinping. The senators note that this is just one of numerous examples of the WHO showing deference to the Chinese Communist Party, and putting an emphasis on politics over public health and transparency.
“The World Health Organization receives hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the American taxpayers, and the people in Wyoming have a right to know how our taxpayer dollars are being spent,” Senator Lummis said. “My constituents in Wyoming have the right to expect transparency and consistency from the institutions they help fund. The WHO has provided neither.”
“It seems the standard for naming viruses is arbitrarily based on names that are most beneficial to favored members of the WHO, particularly China,” the senators wrote. “Indeed, the arbitrary nature of the naming policy only further underlines concerns that the WHO kowtows to the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping that were brought to the surface after the WHO and China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic began in Wuhan. For too long, the WHO has bowed to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party. This only damages the credibility of health officials across the world and sows fear, confusion, and politics into public health.”
To read the full letter, click here.