As our economy continues to suffer from the negative effects of COVID-19, we must focus on using medical innovation to solve this crisis while also holding bad actors accountable. This means holding the Chinese government and their associates accountable for their role in inflicting a global pandemic and waging a campaign of disinformation in a fraudulent attempt to preserve their image.

When examining accountability related to the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also unfortunately played a role in downplaying the crisis. As an arm of the United Nations that receives hundreds of millions in American taxpayer dollars, efforts by the agency to downplay the coronavirus are extremely concerning.

The WHO is charged with promoting health and safety across the globe, and the United States is by far its biggest financial contributor. But their recent failures – and evidence of their efforts to actually work with China to downplay the seriousness of COVID-19 – are proof that public health has not been their primary mission. That is why I support President Trump’s call to place a hold on U.S. funding of the organization, pending an investigation into their ties with the Chinese government.

American taxpayers should not subsidize an agency whose leadership worked with Communist China to conceal the dangers of COVID-19 from the world. Rather than working to fulfill their mission of protecting public health, the WHO has instead served as a propaganda outlet for a corrupt Chinese regime.

From day one, the Chinese government has not been forthcoming about the dangers of a virus that came straight from a laboratory in Wuhan, according to recent reporting. They have even gone so far as to smear American troops with false allegations that the United States Military is responsible for this pandemic.

While Communist China was busy jailing doctors and expelling journalists who dared to speak out on the dangers of the coronavirus, the WHO was applauding the regime for demonstrating transparency. And while China was falsely claiming that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” in COVID-19, the WHO was serving as an outlet for their propaganda by publicizing that clearly false assertion online. The WHO also criticized President Trump’s action in January to ban further travel to the United States from China – a move that has undoubtedly saved lives.

Until there is accountability from the WHO on their collusion with China to conceal COVID-19, not a dime of American taxpayer money should go to this compromised organization. That is why I joined fellow members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee in requesting documents showing the exact nature of communications between WHO leadership and the Chinese government.

Had China and the World Health Organization been more forthcoming from the start, America would be seeing significantly fewer cases, less tragic loss of life, and the continuation of the healthy economy we had before this crisis. At the bare minimum, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom should resign for his mismanagement of this crisis and collusion with the Chinese government to downplay it.

Americans deserve to know that their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely. Allowing American dollars to fund organizations who cover for Communist regimes goes against the principles our country stands for. Moving forward, our financial resources must focus on protecting American citizens from harm’s way, and we must hold China and the World Health Organization accountable for their role in escalating this pandemic.

Rep. James Comer is a United States Congressman for the 1st Congressional District, which spans from south central Kentucky to the river counties of far western Kentucky. Contact him with any questions or concerns in his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-3115, in the Tompkinsville Office at (270) 487-9509, in the Paducah Office at (270) 408-1865, or schedule an appointment in the Madisonville Office by calling (270) 487-9509.