President Trump hammered the World Health Organization on Tuesday over its response to the coronavirus pandemic, accusing it of being partial to China and endangering countries by recommending borders be kept open.
“The W.H.O. really blew it,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “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 WHO recommended in January that countries keep borders and trade open even as it dubbed the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency. In March, the WHO upgraded the outbreak to pandemic status.
Several Republican senators have eviscerated the WHO for its handling of the pandemic. Senator Martha McSally last week called on WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to step down. McSally called the director a “communist” and accused him of helping China conceal its underreporting of coronavirus case numbers.
Another Republican senator, Rick Scott of Florida, called for a congressional investigation into the WHO and questioned whether the organization should continue to be funded since it engaged in “helping Communist China cover up” the seriousness of the virus and “willfully parroted propaganda” from China’s Communist Party.
During an interview last month, WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward appeared to dodge a question about whether the WHO will reconsider granting membership to Taiwan, which China claims as a territory. Taiwan, which has reported under 400 cases of the infection and only two deaths, has been widely praised for its containment of the coronavirus.
When Chinese researchers discovered the virus in December, local and national officials issued a gag order to labs in Wuhan, ordering the scientists there not to disclose that they had identified a new viral pneumonia.
As of Tuesday morning, the U.S. has over 367,800 cases of the coronavirus, a respiratory illness which originated in Wuhan, China, and over 11,000 people have died.