House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday criticized President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would cut funding to the World Health Organization.
“The President’s halting of funding to the WHO as it leads the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic is senseless….This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“We can only be successful in defeating this global pandemic through a coordinated international response with respect for science and data,” the speaker continued. “But sadly, as he has since Day One, the President is ignoring global health experts, disregarding science and undermining the heroes fighting on the frontline, at great risk to the lives and livelihoods of Americans and people around the world.”
The U.S. funds 15 percent of the WHO’s annual budget, and is the agency’s largest contributor. By contrast, China, where the coronavirus originated, funds 0.2 percent of the WHO’s budget.
Trump announced on Tuesday that the U.S. would ” halt funding of the WHO while a review is conducted to assess the WHO’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” The WHO has been criticized for its deference to Beijing, which, Trump and Republican lawmakers argue, led to its failure to transmit early warnings regarding the contagiousness of the coronavirus.
“The silence of the WHO on the disappearance of scientific researchers and doctors, and new restrictions on the sharing of research into the origins of COVID-19 in the country of origin is deeply concerning,” Trump said. “Especially when we put up by far the largest amount of money.”