While the Coronavirus pandemic runs rampant across the globe, President Donald Trump has begun threatening to withhold U.S. funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), which is a joint global venture. Trump’s laughably outlandish defense for his threat is a claim that the WHO was supposedly in cahoots with China and failed to adequately forewarn and prepare other countries of the incoming Coronavirus disaster. To suggest, however, that Trump himself took the virus seriously when even the WHO did not is completely detached from reality. The president appears to be desperately searching for a scapegoat for his administration’s virus response failures.
Trump slams WHO for “calling it wrong.” But it was Trump who was calling it wrong for weeks on the Coronavirus. The WHO called the outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Trump cited the WHO in an address to nation on same day. https://t.co/cGrt4NDBC1
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) April 7, 2020
Trump, stunningly, told reporters this Tuesday:
‘They missed the call. They could have called it months earlier. They would have known, and they should have known, and they probably did know. We’re going to be looking into that very carefully, and we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it, and we’re going to see. It’s a great thing if it works, but when they call every shot wrong, that’s not good.’
Trump says he will “put a hold” on U.S. funding to WHO:
“They seem to be very China-centric"
Trump on Feb. 10:
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) April 7, 2020
The WHO does not “call every shot wrong.” Donald Trump himself claimed that concern about the Coronavirus was a hoax at a rally at the end of February. On numerous other occasions, Trump’s rhetoric about the virus included claims like the baseless idea that the Coronavirus would soon disappear from the U.S. like a “miracle” and the total case count would wind down to zero. None of that was true, Trump made it up — and now he’s trying to blame the WHO, as if part of their job description includes personal crisis response management for the incompetent buffoons in the White House.
Trump on the WHO: "They called it wrong. They called it wrong. They missed the call. They could've called it months earlier." Not sure what "called it" means; Trump has an extensive record of inaccurate downplaying of the crisis even after WHO warnings and a pandemic declaration.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 7, 2020
Trump’s justification was, as he put it, that the organization supposedly “actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it,” adding:
‘And they were wrong. They’ve been wrong about a lot of things. They had a lot of information early, and they didn’t — they seemed to be very China-centric. We have to look into it.’
That’s not actually entirely true. The WHO issued broad caution against rash travel bans, which had already been imposed in many other countries around the world. They did not specifically single out Trump and his policies — which weren’t even that effective, considering tens of thousands of people flew to the U.S. from China after his much ado about nothing travel ban’s implementation.
Trump is flat out lying to the American people and right now our network and all networks should be cutting in to FactCheck him. If we’re going to carry these ridiculous briefings, we need to give it context and we need to fact check a President who has trouble with the truth
— Mika Brzezinski (@morningmika) April 7, 2020
Asked a follow-up question about his threats this Tuesday, Trump insisted that the funding cut was only a consideration. As he put it:
‘I’m not going to say I’m going to do it. We will look at ending funding.’
TRUMP: “We’re going to put a hold on the money spent to the WHO, we're going to put a very powerful hold on it.”
TRUMP minutes later, when asked if wise to cut $ to WHO in a pandemic: “No maybe not. I mean, I'm not saying I'm going to do it. But we're going to look at it." pic.twitter.com/HFlpDCkTDr
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) April 7, 2020
The U.S. currently sends the WHO around $122 million a year, the largest of any individual country. Trump’s latest budget proposal already included the proposal to slash that figure down to just about $58 million a year. That proposal is just that, a proposal, and it doesn’t necessarily reflect the final budget work from Congress.
Trump blames WHO for calling #coronavirus wrong and missing out. Trump found out in January and did nothing. Just lies. Pure lies.
— Wajahat "Social Distance Yourself" Ali (@WajahatAli) April 7, 2020