The director-general of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-influenced World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 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.
by Edwin Mora
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said it is “reevaluating” American taxpayer-funded assistance to the WHO, a United Nations organ, over its lackluster response to the raging novel coronavirus pandemic and its relationship with China. The coronavirus originated in China’s Wuhan region.
On Wednesday, the WHO director defended the international organizations’ response to the viral outbreak in response to criticism from Trump, claiming that the nation of Taiwan had been instigating a campaign of racist slurs against him without providing evidence.
Although U.S. funding for the WHO reportedly exceeds China’s financial contributions more than ten-fold, Beijing appears to maintain more influence over the U.N. entity.
Below are five worrisome facts about the man leading the WHO amid the coronavirus pandemic that had infected over 1.5 million people and killed over 90,000 across the world as of Thursday afternoon:
5. Tedros Helped Beijing Hide the Severity of the Chinese Coronavirus Outbreak
On January 14, months after health officials are believed to have detected the first case of the virus in China on November 17 of last year, the WHO was promoting a Chinese claim via Twitter that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.” Meanwhile, the disease was spiraling out of control. The WHO tweet came a day before the first case to reach the United States reportedly flew from Wuhan to the state of Washington.
4. Tedros is Not a Medical Doctor
The WHO director holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Community Health from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London. China reportedly supported Tedros’s rise to lead the WHO in 2017, even though he was not trained as a medical doctor.
3. The WHO Director is a Member of the Leftist Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)
As a member of the violent and powerful communist Ethiopian political party known as the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Tedros rose through Ethiopia’s autocratic regime as health (2005-2012) and foreign minister (2012-2016). Analysts, reportedlyincluding American government officials, have listed the TPLF in the Global Terrorism Database.
When it came to power in 1991, TPLF was in the vanguard of that year’s overthrow of Ethiopia’s military regime under dictator Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam. TPLF played a role in Ethiopia’s 1980s famine a few years after launching its protracted rebellion against the military government in 1975. The party is also reportedly linked to other gross human rights violations.
2. Tedros Helped Indebt Ethiopia to China
Ethiopia has borrowed billions from China, reportedly including more than $13 billionduring Tedros’ tenure as foreign minister between 2012 and 2016.
An editorial published by the Hill in mid-March pointed out:
“We note China’s connections to Tedros’s homeland of Ethiopia, now called East Africa’s ‘Little China’ because it has become China’s bridgehead to influence Africa and a key to China’s Belt and Road initiative there. Indeed, China has invested heavily in Ethiopia.”
Citing the coronavirus threat last month, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued asked the international community for immediate debt relief. China has become Ethiopia’s largest trading partner, thanks in part to Beijing’s’ investments in the African country while Tedros was foreign minister.
1. Tedros named Robert Mugabe a WHO ‘goodwill ambassador’
In October 2017, Tedros named Mugabe a “goodwill ambassador” to help combat non-communicable diseases in Africa, provoking outrage from medical professionals and human rights groups. At the time the New York Times noted:
“The role of good-will ambassador is largely symbolic, but rights groups were scathing in their reaction to the symbolism of giving it to a man whose leadership, they say, has led to the collapse of its health service and major rights abuses in Zimbabwe.”
Ultimately, Tedros rescinded his decision to name Mugabe “goodwill ambassador” in the wake of criticism.