Trump Condemns WHO, Halts US Funding to Organization in Midst of Coronavirus Pandemic


President Donald Trump began his daily coronavirus press briefing with an extended condemnation of the World Health Organization, and announced that the U.S. would be halting its funding of the group until an investigation of what he alleged was its mismanagement of the early response to the virus.

“Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump announced. “American taxpayers provide between $400 million and $500 million a year to the W.H.O. In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million a year and even less as the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability.”

Trump called out W.H.O.’s recommendation against imposing a commercial travel ben from China in January, a decision he made on the last day of the month to prevent the spread in the United States. “One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the W.H.O. was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions to China and other nations,” he said before once again touting his administration’s move as “saving untold number of lives.”

“Look at the rest of the world. Look at parts of Europe,” he noted. “Other nations and regions who followed W.H.O. guidelines and kept their borders open to China accelerated the pandemic all around the world. Many countries said we’re going to listen to the W.H.O., and they have problems the likes of which they cannot believe.”

However, the ban has not prevented the U.S. from now having, by far, the largest official total of both positive cases and deaths from Covid-19 complications. China’s official virus count and death toll has been under dispute and is suspected by some of significantly undercounting the true impact, though the country has notably re-opened much of Wuhan, the city closest to the coronavirus’ origin.

“W.H.O. failed to adequately obtain, vet, and share information in a timely and transparent fashion,” Trump claimed. “The world depends on the W.H.O. to work with countries to ensure that accurate information about international health threats is shared in a timely manner. And if it’s not, to tell the world the truth about what is happening. The W.H.O. failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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