U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told MPs that the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) was bought by China, as he accused the international body of being responsible for dead Britons.
The extraordinary claim from Trump’s top diplomat has been fiercely rejected by the WHO, which hit out at ad hominem attacks and unfounded allegations.
Mr Pompeo, who met backbenchers from across the House of Commons on Tuesday, was pressed by Labour MP Chris Bryant on the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of a host of international agreements.
The US has said it will no longer fund the WHO, an international body which coordinates country’s responses to health crises and works to combat disease outbreaks.
But Secretary Pompeo used the meeting with MPs to launch a direct attack on the organization’s director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
He is reported to have told them: This is a political, not a science-based organization.
When push came to shove when it really mattered most when there was a pandemic in China, Dr. Tedros, who was bought by the Chinese government, I can’t say more, but I’m saying this on a firm intelligence foundation, a deal was made and when push came to shove, you get dead Britons.
The World Health Organisation told The Telegraph in a statement: WHO is not aware of any such statement but we strongly reject any ad hominem attacks and unfounded allegations.
WHO urges countries to remain focused on tackling the pandemic that is causing tragic loss of life and suffering.
Mr Bryant told The Guardian that Labour MPs had been left unimpressed by the comments from Secretary Pompeo, telling the paper: He said nothing that appealed to our side.