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Trump freezes U.S. funding to the World Health Organization over its coronavirus response

President said the WHO put 'political correctness above life-saving measures'

Published: April 14, 2020 5:22pm

Updated: April 14, 2020 7:53pm

President Trump said Tuesday that the United States was cutting funding to the World Health Organization, saying the body put "political correctness above life-saving measures."

Trump said the WHO's decision to recommend not banning travelers from China early on during the coronavirus crisis "accelerated the pandemic all around the world." 

"Many countries said 'We're going to listen to the WHO,' and they have problems the likes of nobody can believe," Trump said, claiming that "countless" lives could have been saved if the WHO had recommended quickly implementing travel bans from China, where the coronavirus originated.

WHO has landed in President Trump’s crosshairs for its handling of the coronavirus, with organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus coming under fire for allegedly failing to warn the world about the speedy, lethal nature of the coronavirus originating in China.

“The W.H.O. really blew it,” Trump recently tweeted. “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?”

Multiple U.S. lawmakers, as well as Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, have called for Ghebreyesus’s removal. A petition has garnered nearly 950,000 petition signers urging the WHO director's ouster. Despite the dramatic headlines, Rasmussen noted that the debate over the WHO is still relatively insular.

A University of Southampton study suggests the number of coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 95% had China moved to contain the virus three weeks sooner. 

Most Democrats have a favorable opinion of the World Health Organization's handling of coronavirus, while most Republicans have an unfavorable view, according to the Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen

The poll found 55% of Republicans had a "Very Unfavorable" or "Somewhat Unfavorable" view of the WHO, while just 20% of Democrats felt the same.

On the reverse side, just 38% of Republicans had a "Very Favorable" or "Somewhat Favorable" view of WHO, compared to 70% of Democrats. Independents were evenly divided. Additionally, most of those with strong positive views are Democrats, while most with strong negative views are Republicans.

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