President Donald Trump was highly critical of the World Health Organization for its “China-centric” actions in the face of the Wuhan virus outbreak.
Appearing via phone on Fox News’ “Hannity,” the president told host Sean Hannity that the U.S. will be reconsidering its funding of the organization.
“The World Health [Organization], very China-centric as I say, basically everything was very positive for China,” Trump insisted. “Don’t close your borders… they strongly recommended that we not close our borders. That would have been a disaster, that would have been a total disaster.”
“And literally, they called every shot wrong,” the president added. “They didn’t want to say where [the coronavirus] came from.”
Trump explained that for many years, the U.S. has been funding the WHO and that some of their work is good.
“But we are going to look at it now because every — I think every step that they made, everything that they said was wrong and always in favor of China. Keep it open, don’t close the borders,” he said. “Now I didn’t listen to them and I did what I wanted to do. And it was a good move. There were other things too. Where it came from, the extent of it, how serious it was, they never viewed it as that serious. It’s one of those things, and we’re the one that is the primary funder, so we are going to take a very strong look at that.
U.S. taxpayers accounting for 15.8% of the WHO’s 2018 biennial budget, according to CNS News. The second-biggest funder was Britain, at 7.7%. China’s contribution was just 1.5%.
Earlier in the day, Trump blasted the WHO on Twitter.
“The W.H.O. really blew it,” he said in a tweet. “For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China-centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately, I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
In an appearance Tuesday night on Fox News’ “The Story,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told host Martha MacCallum that he was going to make things easy for Trump.
“I’m going to take the burden off the president,” he said. “In the next appropriations bill, there’s not going to be any money for the WHO.”
“I’m in charge of the appropriations subcommittee. I’m not going to support funding the WHO under its current leadership,” Graham continued. “They’ve been deceptive. They’ve been slow and they’ve been Chinese apologists.”
“I don’t think they’re a good investment, under the current leadership, for the United States,” he said. “And until they change their behavior and get new leadership, I think it’s in America’s best interests to withhold funding because they have failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus.”
There have been plenty of criticism from others, to include Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
“Throughout the entire Coronavirus Pandemic, the WHO has consistently bent to the will of the Chinese Communist Party,” he tweeted Monday. “It has lost the credibility necessary to be effective and a reevaluation of its leadership is rightfully called for.”
Throughout the entire #CoronavirusPandemic, the @WHO has consistently bent to the will of the Chinese Communist Party. It has lost the credibility necessary to be effective and a reevaluation of its leadership is rightfully called for. https://t.co/I6bAlfgOHt
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 6, 2020
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., went even further, calling for a congressional investigation of the World Health Organization last week.
He suggested the U.S. should cut off its funding for “helping Communist China cover up” the full extent of the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported.
“The mission of the WHO is to get public health information to the world so every country can make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe,” Scott said. “When it comes to coronavirus, the WHO failed.”
“We know Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have, what they knew and when they knew it, and the WHO never bothered to investigate further,” the senator added. “Their inaction cost lives.”
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