Trump Eyes WHO Cuts As He Seeks To Divert Attention From His Own COVID Response

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 10, 2020. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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April 13, 2020 12:00 p.m.
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Amid his own haphazard response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump has found a new villain to blame for the virus: the World Health Organization.

According to a Washington Post report Monday, Trump is set to announce restrictions to U.S. funding for the WHO as both his administration and allies continue to baselessly accuse the organization of being “China-centric” in its handling of the outbreak.

Trump seems to have ramped up his targeting of the WHO, which is a United Nations entity largely funded by the U.S., as he attempts to divert attention from his early and underwhelming response to the pandemic. His administration has yet to address what steps it had taken in late December and early January before the COVID-19 outbreak had hit the U.S.

After blaming Democrats for how he “inherited” an insufficient health care system and claiming that the party created a “new hoax” by hyping the threat of COVID-19, Trump began taking aim at the WHO last week when he threatened to cut the organization’s U.S. funding.

During a White House coronavirus task force briefing on Friday, Trump hinted that he will have announcement on the WHO “sometime next week.”

“As you know, we give them approximately $500 million a year. And we’re going to be talking about that subject next week,” Trump said. We’ll have a lot to say about it. We’ll hold it.”

Trump went on to accuse the WHO of being “very China-centric,” referring to how the organization criticized him “very strongly” about restricting flights from China in late January.

The Post’s report comes a day after WHO Special Envoy Dr. David Nabarro responded to Trump’s threat to cut funding by saying that he hopes that “all nations will not find any reason to make threats” in a “massive epic struggle.”

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
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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