Trump on the World Health Organization: “They Called Every Shot Wrong”
In an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said that he was giving serious thought to withholding U.S. funding from the World Health Organization, which has been more interested in spewing Chinese propaganda over the last few months than actually providing world leaders with the public health information they need.
Echoing strong remarks from Republican lawmakers like Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and others, President Trump said that WHO leadership had been wrong at every step of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The World Health Organization – very China-centric, as I say – basically everything was very positive for China,” Trump noted. “Don’t close your borders, they strongly recommended. That would have been a disaster, that would have been a total disaster. And literally, they called every shot wrong. They didn’t want to say where [coronavirus] came from. For many years, we’ve been funding the World Health Organization.”
Trump said that the United States is responsible for providing much more funding to the WHO than Beijing, but that wasn’t stopping the UN organization from putting all their chips in with China.
“We’re going to look at it now because I think every step that they made, everything that they said was wrong and always in favor of China,” he said. “And ‘keep it open, don’t close the borders’. I didn’t listen to them, and I did what I wanted to do, and it was a good move. So it’s one of those things where we are the one that is the primary funder so we are going to take a very strong look at that.”
According to the most recent numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. gave the World Health Organization $513 million in 2017, which was up nearly $200 million from the year prior. Funding for the organization (as well as the rest of the United Nations) has long been a priority for this country under both parties. However, if what we’re getting in return for our money is merely a propaganda extension of the Chinese Community Party, then it’s time we re-evaluate what we do with taxpayer resources.
Ordinarily, Trump’s criticism of an international organization would draw an outcry from the liberal media. In this case, however, WHO’s actions and statements have attracted harsh criticism from across the globe.
“In Japan, Taro Aso, the deputy prime minister and finance minister, recently noted that some people have started referring to the World Health Organization as the ‘Chinese Health Organization’ because of what he described as its close ties to Beijing. Taiwanese officials say the W.H.O. ignored its early warnings about the virus because China refuses to allow Taiwan, a self-governing island it claims as its territory, to become a member,” reported The New York Times on Wednesday.
If the U.S. and other Western countries pull back from the WHO after this crisis, of course, it will only give China a greater voice in the organization. On the other hand, if everyone comes to realize that the WHO is nothing more than a mouthpiece for Beijing’s leadership, their influence will decay quickly.
It’s perhaps a shame that an organization that has been around since 1948 had to end this way, but maybe the U.S. and her allies can build something better in WHO’s ashes. Something that doesn’t give rancid authoritarian communists a platform for propaganda.