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Chairman Risch Statement on WHO Decision to Convene Interim Review of COVID-19 Response

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) will authorize an interim review of its COVID-19 response by an independent panel of experts:

“I am encouraged by the WHO’s agreement to convene an interim review of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consistent with the recommendations that I and my fellow Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republican colleagues shared with UN Secretary General Guterres on April 23, the assessment must be conducted by an external panel of qualified experts, be fair and impartial, and include concrete recommendations for corrective action.

“The WHO continues to serve an important role as the guardian of the International Health Regulations, but it is in need of serious reform. I have been calling for an interim review since early April, and have spoken to Dr. Tedros and WHO leadership since then about the need for such an assessment. This interim assessment is the first, necessary step in restoring confidence in the organization as a broader reform agenda is advanced.”