CDC Director Vows To Continue Working With WHO Despite Trump Halting Funds

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 08: Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attends the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on A... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 08: Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attends the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 08, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump vowed to hold back funding for the World Health Organization at the briefing, accusing the organization of having not been aggressive enough in confronting the virus, but later denied saying funding would be withheld, according to published reports. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 15, 2020 1:30 p.m.
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CDC Director Robert Redfield wouldn’t condemn President Trump’s move to halt funding to the World Health Organization, but insisted that its longstanding partnership with the CDC won’t change, during an interview on CBS Wednesday morning.

During the White House coronavirus task force briefing Tuesday night, Trump announced that the U.S. will halt funding to the WHO while a review is underway. He also accused the largely U.S.-funded organization of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of COVID-19.

Asked whether Trump’s move to cut off funding to the WHO is dangerous, Redfield dodged by simply saying that the WHO has been a “longstanding partner” for the CDC and that they’re continuing to work together to “fight health crises all around the world.” That includes ongoing joint efforts to end the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In response to the impact of cutting off funding to the WHO amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Redfield reiterated that the organization is a “long-term” and “great partner” for the CDC.

“We’re going to continue to do all we can together to try to limit this,” Redfield said, referring to COVID-19. “Those decisions that are going to be made above, related to some of the geopolitical issues, I have to leave to those that really have that expertise. But for me and for CDC, in the public health arena, we’re continuing to work side-by-side with WHO to do the best that we can to limit the spread of disease and to protect the American people.”

Redfield’s latest remarks aren’t the first to be at odds with the President’s.

On Monday, Redfield argued that the availability of swift testing for COVID-19 is crucial before reopening the economy, which Trump said during a briefing last week isn’t needed.

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TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
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COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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