More Republican lawmakers are joining the push for the World Health Organization to be defunded over its kid-gloves treatment of China in the initial days of the coronavirus response — as the White House openly considers taking the dramatic step.
President Trump hinted in a tweet early Tuesday that he was looking at defunding the agency, saying they “blew it” in their response to the coronavirus crisis.
“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?” he asked.
He then declared at the press briefing later in the day: “We’re going to put a hold on the money sent to the WHO.”
Trump, however, backtracked when questioned on that statement by members of the media, saying he was “going to look into” cutting off funding to the WHO and denying his earlier statement.
The WHO has increasingly been the focus of questions about its response to the coronavirus pandemic, including information it tweeted in January that quoted “preliminary” findings from Chinese authorities that downplayed the seriousness of the virus that has since turned into a pandemic, shutting down daily life around the globe.