Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed with President Donald Trump on Friday that the World Health Organization should be questioned about its early response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The president has asked this question and I think he’s right. The president’s answer is the World Health Organization should have been blowing the whistle.”
He added, “I don’t know enough to know if that’s right or wrong, but I know the question is right and sometimes the question is more important than the answer.”
Gov. Cuomo says President Trump was right to question the WHO on pandemic warning signs.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 10, 2020
Cuomo joins a long list of people who have questioned the WHO’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including Trump and Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who have both indicated the U.S. should halt its funding of the organization.
The WHO has especially been scrutinized for information it tweeted about “preliminary” findings from Chinese authorities that downplayed the seriousness of the virus.
The January tweet said that Chinese authorities found “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of COVID-19.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China??. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
“How did this happen? I mean, I still want to know how this happened because the warning signs were there and if you don’t know the answer, then how do you know it’s not going to happen again,” Cuomo said.
The governor pointed to headlines in January and said that we saw what was happening in Asia and Europe.
“Where were the international experts saying, ‘Well, if this is happening there, this is what we should expect to happen in the United States or prepare to happen in the United States,'” Cuomo said.
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ foreign appropriations subcommittee, said on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” this week that he will not support funding the WHO under its current leadership in response to how it has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
“They’ve been deceptive. They’ve been slow and they’ve been Chinese apologists,” the South Carolina Republican said.
“I don’t think they’re a good investment, under the current leadership, for the United States. And until they change their behavior and get new leadership, I think it’s in America’s best interest to withhold funding because they have failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus.”
Graham added that the organization praised Chinese President Xi Jinping and criticized Trump’s decision to restrict travel from China to the United States.
“Here’s the point. Without China being irresponsible — lying to the world about the way the disease is transmitted, withholding information about the level of infection, silencing doctors — there would be no pandemic,” he said.
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