comScore Frmr Obama UN Ambassador: Trump Halting WHO Funding is 'Obscene'

Frmr Obama UN Ambassador Power: Trump Halting Funding to WHO is ‘Obscene’, It’s ‘Madness’ & ‘Strictly Political’

Samantha Power, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, called President Donald Trump’s plan to halt half a billion dollars in funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) “sheer madness,” “obscene” and “strictly political” during an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. 

“If I had to sum it up, I would say sheer madness.  It’s obscene.  It’s strictly political, really,” Power said. “An attempt to divert from what we all know has been the gross mismanagement of the prevention phase of this in the United States and the response phase.”

Power then pointed out the difficulties refugee camps and developing countries are facing amid the global pandemic, and stressed that halting funding to the WHO would create even more obstacles for these areas, especially considering some of their governments cannot provide resources.

Power noted that aspects of the WHO’s response to the coronavirus “have been really problematic,” but also pointed out that every criticism directed at the WHO also applies to Trump, referring both to his relationship with China and to his initial downplaying of the crisis.

“Overreliance on China, flattery of China, sucking up to China, to put in an undiplomatic way.  I mean, that’s something that we saw characterize the early phase of the U.S. response let by President Trump,” Power said. “And downplaying the crisis until it was too late, missing the month of February, as he did, to get the testing apparatuses in place and to put in place the kinds of guidelines that we have now.  But, at the time when it’s already spread across the country.”

Camerota also pointed out that Trump believed China’s coronavirus narrative, despite the fact that most experts did not believe the country was being transparent regarding the number of cases and deaths amid the outbreak.

“By the way, he attempted to cut World Health Organization funding in half before the crisis because he was so determined to ignore the warnings of public health professionals,” Power said when asked about the consequence of halting funding to the WHO.

“What we really need to be doing  is dramatically increasing the amount of support we’re offering to humanitarian organizations, particularly the public health agencies and organizations who are out there in the field.”

Power then stressed that if Trump cuts ties with the WHO, he leaves “the field open to China” when the world needs strong leadership with experience building a global coalition, referring to the United States’ response to past pandemics.

Watch above, via CNN.

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