The House Foreign Affairs Committee is looking into President Donald Trump's decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization.
Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday, announcing he was opening the inquiry.
Engel called Trump's decision to suspend funding to WHO counterproductive and said it puts lives at risk.
"Attacking the WHO, rather than the COVID-19 outbreak, will only worsen an already dire situation by undermining one of our key tools to fight the spreading disease," he wrote.
He said the administration's explanation for suspending the U.S. contribution in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic was "inadequate" and his committee "is determined to understand the reasons behind this self-defeating withdrawal from global leadership."
Trump announced April 14 he would stop giving money to WHO, pending a review of the agency's role in managing the spread of the coronavirus. Annually, the U.S. contributed about $500 million to the health organization, CNN reports. The administration's review of the WHO is expected to last between 60 and 90 days.
Engel said the State Department had provided to Congress "a one-page talking points 'fact sheet' that contains few facts, no plan, and no explanation of how suspending funds for the WHO will save lives here at home or around the world."
Engel requested a number of materials from the State Department, including "any and all documents" related to the decision and its impacts, lists of interagency meetings and officials consulted on the funding. He requested the documents by May 4.
Engel acknowledged the WHO "made mistakes during the course of this unprecedented emergency," but said he "would support reforms to strengthen the organization."
"But, certainly, cutting the WHO's funding while the world confronts the COVID-19 tragedy is not the answer," he wrote. "Diplomatic, development, and global health professionals have warned that cutting the WHO's funding at this time will only hurt the global response and provide another opportunity for China to exert its influence."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.