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The Ethiopian head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is set to serve a second term as director general, with reports no nation challenging him despite his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and close ties with China Will give

Observers say that if the US is not the challenger, it has lost a great opportunity to make an impact on the crucial international body.

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President Biden rejoined the WHO early in his presidency, following the Trump administration’s announcement that he would end US ties with the organization. At the time, Trump cited the WHO’s handling of the pandemic, its perceived pro-China bias and subsequent failure to implement reforms.

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whereas state Department Won’t confirm or deny if the US was backing Tedros, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in January when he rejoined the administration’s organization that Tedros was his “dear friend.” Tedros has reportedly referred to Fauci as “my brother Tony”.

Granthshala News has learned that 17 EU countries, including France and Germany, recently nominated Tedros for a second term.

He reportedly also had the support of Kenya as his home country Ethiopia was unwilling to give his blessings as he was accused of taking sides against the current government as a threat of civil war. Tedros, who is not a medical doctor, previously served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health and Foreign Affairs.

In an email to Granthshala News, a State Department spokesperson said, “The nomination period by member states closes on September 23. We look forward to receiving formal notice by the WHO following the final regional committee in late October. The administration is Committed to strengthening and improving WHO to ensure that it fulfills its vital global mission to advance global health and health security, including preventing and responding to future health emergencies Is.”

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The United States is the largest contributor to the WHO, spending nearly $2 billion over the past five years. The US funds 22% of the organization’s budget, while China takes in about half of the tab.

Hugh Dugan, who was senior director of international organization affairs on the National Security Council during the Trump administration and briefed the Biden administration on the WHO during the transition, expressed his concern that needed reforms could fall by the wayside.

Dugan said, “Being standing for another five years as WHO chief, Tedros was due to the White House grilling on COVID-19. But Biden called that for better accountability and transparency with regards to Wuhan.” Forgot to seize the opportunity.” Instead, he rubber-stamped Tedros like a lightly overdue library book. The status quo should have been a status number, and only the United States has the authority to call out the man from China. But Biden’s team … took advantage of the change needed at the top of the WHO, showing little interest in making.”

Craig Singleton, an assistant fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told Granthshala News that the Biden administration missed an opportunity. “The failure of the Biden administration to put forward a worthy candidate is contrary to its stated desire to meaningfully reform the WHO and rehabilitate the beleaguered health body’s global status quo.”

FILE - In this January 28, 2020, file photo, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  (Naohiko Hatta/Pool Photo via AP, FILE)

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Singleton continued, “There is now widespread recognition in both political and scientific circles that the WHO’s initial findings about the origins of COVID-19 overwhelm credibility. In response to increasing public pressure, Tedros was forced to acknowledge that What has been known since the start of the pandemic – China’s refusal to cooperate with the international community is the only thing standing in the way of the world to find out where and how this pandemic started “

Singleton, a former US official specializing in China and international organizations, shared concerns over Tedros’ alleged China bias.

“There is no doubt that Tedros lacks credibility, not only because he allowed Beijing to undermine the investigation into the origins of COVID-19, but also because there have been a number of serious scandals on his watch.” he said. These include reports about allegations of sexual harassment by WHO employees in their inner circle, as well as a recent audit that revealed WHO spent millions of donor dollars procuring faulty Chinese PPE during the height of the pandemic. have done.”

He said there is little evidence that “his affinity for China has waned since the start of the pandemic. It was Tedros’s championing of Beijing’s interests first as Ethiopia’s health minister and later as foreign minister.” It’s surprising given the history of it.”

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Singleton said a review of UN records showed that Chinese aid contributions to Tedros’ native Ethiopia had increased significantly when he was in top leadership positions.

According to Singleton, the same goes for China’s contribution to the WHO after Tedros’ election in 2017, which preceded intense Chinese lobbying from Tedros. Tedros’ Chinese ties also include those of Xi’s wife, Peng Liyuan, who serves as the WHO Goodwill Ambassador.

A diplomat with knowledge of the inner workings at the organization, who asked to remain anonymous, told Granthshala that the WHO is deeply troubled under Tedros.

The diplomat observed that the WHO was “entirely focused on promoting his personal political agenda. He is not a scientist, and his regime is authoritarian and patriarchal. With repeated crashes on scientific guidance … WHO has given all credibility is lost.”

A WHO spokesman did not confirm whether Tedros was the only candidate and did not respond to follow-up questions regarding his criticism of Tedros.

Earlier this year, Tedros would not discuss whether he was running for a second term, saying he was focused on fighting the pandemic.

Hugh Dugan, who advised 11 US ambassadors to the United Nations. said Tedros needed to openly encourage Taiwan’s membership in the WHO, a move that would help show the world that China does not control the organisation.

Dugan said, “The quickest path to WHO resuscitation would be for Tedros and the responsible states to invite Taiwan’s membership in the organization. This would end the existence of Chinese control over Tedros’ front office.”

The full list of candidates for director general should be unveiled at the end of October, and while Tedros has not said publicly that he is running, his second term is certain.

Granthshala News’ Adam Shaw and the Associated Press contributed to this article.