Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) released a new report last week on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the failures of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in proactively containing the virus.
The new report builds on an interim report that McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released in June.
McCaul’s interim report found that had the CCP acted differently, they would likely have prevented the pandemic and 95 percent of coronavirus cases in China — a conclusion that remains unchanged in the new report.
The final report includes new primary documents detailing the CCP’s attempts to “obfuscate their knowledge of the virus and to directly inhibit the COVID-19 response of other countries.”
In late January, for instance, a nurse at a hospital in the Chinese city of Taizhou was punished for discussing the virus with classmates.
“While anecdotal, this example raises the question of how many other healthcare professionals were punished or silenced by the CCP?” the report asks.
Also included are new details about efforts of the CCP to control the flow of personal protective equipment (PPE), by directing production domestic and foreign companies in China to manufacture medical supplies and strictly limiting exports.
The report notes, “It is highly likely that China’s nationalization of the manufacturing capacity of foreign companies, including 3M and General Motors, directly impacted the ability of the United States and other countries to procure PPE on the global market.”
As the Chinese government directed companies to produce supplies for the pandemic, it also directed Chinese-owned firms located in Australia to ship PPE to China, according to a Congressional Research Service report cited by McCaul’s team.
McCaul sent a letter to the director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in May asking 18 questions regarding WHO’s response to the pandemic.
In July, Tedros responded to McCaul with a 13-page letter that explained WHO’s role in the pandemic, but avoided directly answering all but one of the 18 questions.
Both McCaul’s letter and Tedros’ response are included in the appendix of the report.
At the top of recommendations in the report is a call for the resignation of Tedros.
“In order to restore the faith of WHO Member States and return the WHO to its mandate of providing accurate, technical advice, Director-General Tedros should accept responsibility for his detrimental impact on the COVID-19 response and resign,” states the report.
The report also recommends the re-admittance of Taiwan to WHO, an international investigation on the CCP’s cover-up of the breakout, and reforms to the WHO-mandated International Health Regulations.
McCaul’s report parts ways with the Trump administration regarding the United States’ membership in WHO, though.
In July, President Trump notified the United Nations of America’s withdrawal from WHO to be effective on July 6, 2021.
“While the WHO failed to abide by the IHR, uphold its mandate, and fulfil its obligations to Member States, we do not believe the withdrawal of the United States or the establishment of a competing international organization is the best path forward,” the report states.
Earlier this year, McCaul was also appointed as the chairman of the House GOP’s China Task Force, which will be releasing a report with new policy recommendations soon.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.