Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Beijing on Jan. 28, 2020. Photo: Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty

A group of U.S. senators have sent a letter to the World Health Organization asking it to provide an accounting of its early handling of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Why it matters: Rising scrutiny of the WHO has led to GOP calls to cut U.S. funding for the organization.

What they're saying: "American taxpayers fund the WHO, and it is up to us to make sure those taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely," Sen. Rick Scott and six other GOP senators wrote in the April 14 letter addressed to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Background: The WHO has come under heavy international criticism for failing to contain the coronavirus, and for appearing to follow Beijing's lead in its response and communications.

Details: The lawmakers made several requests for information, including:

  • When a WHO team first arrived in China to begin investigating the outbreak
  • Who was in charge of coordinating the WHO's investigation with the Chinese Communist Party
  • Any financial compensation the organization's leaders receive beyond their WHO salaries
  • Disclosure of documents and communications in late 2019 and early 2020 relating to the coronavirus response in China, especially those between the WHO and China's leadership
  • Republican Senators Kevin Cramer, Todd Young, Ron Johnson, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst and Martha McSally also signed the letter.

Go deeper: Trump hits WHO on coronavirus: "They should've known"

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 32,844,146 — Total deaths: 994,208 — Total recoveries: 22,715,726Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,078,798 — Total deaths: 204,497 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

Graham hopes his panel will approve Amy Coney Barrett by late October

Sen. Lindsey Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sept. 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Saturday he expects confirmation hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court to start Oct. 12 and for his panel to approve her by Oct. 26.

Why it matters: That would mean the final confirmation vote could take place on the Senate floor before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Texas city declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Texas authorities have issued a warning amid concerns that the water supply in the southeast of the state may contain the brain-eating amoeba naegleria fowleri following the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Details: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a "do not use" water alert Friday for eight cities, along with the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections centers and the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport. This was later lifted for all places except for Lake Jackson, which issued a disaster declaration Saturday.

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