The suggestion is that perhaps your WD drive needs to be hooked to an external power supply of its own, that it's not getting enough power from your laptop.
Never seen a WD external bus-powered drive with any means of connecting an external power supply. I did buy one over a decade ago and the instructions said that it might require use of a dual-plug USB cable designed to extract power-only out of a second USB port. I bought another USB external drive that came with a cable like that.
Most of the newer ones can easily be powered by a single USB port. I've got one (Seagate though) that System Report says is asking for 160 mA connected directly to the port or 100 mA if connected to a hub. That can be done if the enclosure is carefully matched to the drive (i.e. designed that way by the manufacturer). External enclosures often ask for "worst case" power provisioning, assuming that the drive will be a power hog.