President Trump slammed the World Health Organization for its “China-centric” views Tuesday, saying that the global health agency’s projections and pronouncements about the coronavirus pandemic have been routinely wrong.
In an interview with Fox News’ "Hannity," Trump said that the WHO had “strongly recommended” against America restricting travel from China, one of their earliest flawed pronouncements.
“The World Health [Organization] – very China-centric, as I say – basically everything was very positive for China,” Trump told host Sean Hannity. "Don’t close your borders, they strongly recommended … That would’ve been a disaster, that would’ve been a total disaster.
“And literally, they called every shot wrong,” the president added. “They didn’t want to say where [coronavirus] came from. For many years, we’ve been funding the World Health Organization.”
The president noted that while the U.S. financial contribution to the WHO dwarfs that of China, the United Nations entity seems to be very concerned about its relationship with Beijing.
“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.”
U.S. taxpayers contributed $513 million to the WHO in 2017, up from $341 million the prior year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus had claimed Trump’s move to restrict travel from China at the end of January would create “fear and stigma with little health benefit.”
Trump also spoke Tuesday about his relationships with state governors during the pandemic, reserving particular praise for Democrats Andrew Cuomo of New York and Phil Murphy of New Jersey.
“I’m a diplomat, too,” Trump remarked. “Since I’ve become president, I have to view things a little bit differently. Andrew, I’ve known him a long time. He has a hard time getting the words out, ‘Thank you, you did a great job,’ but he’s been pretty good over the last week or so.”
Trump also praised the work of Democratic Govs. John Bel Edwards in Louisiana and Gavin Newsom in California, while declining to name which governors he thought may have done a poor job handling the pandemic.
“We’ll back the people where they have bad governors.”