Pompeo claims WHO chief director-general 'bought' by China

America's top diplomat tells British lawmakers head of global health agency bribed by CCP

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WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly voiced the charge that World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus has been "bought" by China during a meeting with the British parliamentarians on Tuesday (July 21).

According to sources familiar with the matter, Pompeo told a group of U.K. lawmakers in London that the international health body is corrupt. He accused Tedros of making a deal with Beijing to obtain his current position, which has led to him covering up information related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Three individuals who attended the private meeting, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Bloomberg that Pompeo warned them about the credibility of the WHO. They said Pompeo did not offer many details but insisted that his allegation was based on a "firm intelligence foundation."

Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith of the U.K. Conservative Party, who was also present at the meeting, confirmed Wednesday (July 22) that Pompeo had informed him and his colleagues about China swaying the WHO director-general election in 2017.

On Wednesday the WHO shot down related media reports and said it strongly opposed any "ad hominem attacks and unfounded allegations." It also urged members of the global community to focus their energy on tackling the pandemic, reported CNA.

Since the outbreak began, the U.S. has taken a tough stance against China and the WHO, which on several occasions praised Beijing for its transparency in the country's early pandemic measures. On July 6 the U.S. formalized its intent to withdraw from the WHO, criticizing the agency for not being politically neutral.