Trump says WHO is China-centric, ‘really blew it’ on coronavirus


FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump sharply criticized the World Health Organization on Tuesday, accusing it of being too focused on China and issuing bad advice during the coronavirus outbreak.

“The W.H.O. really blew it,” Trump said in a Twitter post. “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?”

The WHO did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

On Jan. 31, the United Nations health organization advised countries to keep borders open despite the outbreak, although it noted that countries had the right to take measures to try to protect their citizens. That same day, Trump’s administration announced restrictions on travel from China.

U.S. conservatives have increasingly criticized the WHO during the global pandemic, saying it relied on faulty data from China about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Last week, Republican Senator Marco Rubio called for the resignation of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying “he allowed Beijing to use the WHO to mislead the global community.”

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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