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Gov. Cuomo: WHO Pandemic Warnings Were 'Too Little, Too Late' and Trump Is Right To Question Them

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Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signaled agreement with President Donald Trump this week regarding enhanced public scrutiny applied to the World Health Organization’s early stage handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Wednesday news conference, Cuomo told reporters the global politics of the matter were “not my field,” but he was unrestrained in suggesting the WHO was in fact late to the game in educating world leaders about the virus.

“Whose job is it to warn us of these global pandemics?” the governor asked. “The president says it’s the World Health Organization, and that’s why he’s taken action against them.

“Not my field — but he’s right to ask the question because this was too little, too late.”

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The statement came little more than one week after Trump announced his administration would halt U.S. funding of the WHO for 60 days in order to investigate the organization’s global pandemic response and assess whether it is worthy of receiving continued American aid.

“The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the time. “Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”

“We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it, and we’re going to see,” the president later said at a news briefing.

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Concerns regarding the United Nations health institution’s aid worthiness were raised in early April as viral spread increased dramatically in the U.S., triggering public health crackdowns nationwide.

As enhanced testing efforts gave way to skyrocketing stateside case totals, criticism raged against the federal response, prompting numerous administration officials to remind the public that response had largely been tailored to — and even gone beyond — early advisories from WHO experts, some of whom initially indicated the virus might not be transmissible on a person-to-person basis and global border closures were likely unnecessary.

The reverse has proven true, however, as widespread global travel to and from the virus’ point of origin in Wuhan, China, is widely believed to have been a major contributor to global transmission speed.

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And according to Johns Hopkins data, nowhere has that rapid transmission been felt more strongly than the state of New York.

As of Friday, New York accounted for nearly 30 percent of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases at roughly 263,000.

One of the most well-traveled metropolitan centers in the world, New York City alone has registered just over 16,000 coronavirus-related deaths — more than most nations.

Cuomo seemed to indicate Wednesday that investigating what sort of global response mismanagement may have contributed to such high totals was of the utmost importance.

“Let’s find out what happened, so it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “It will happen again. Bank on it.

“Let’s not put our head in the sand and say, ‘This is the only global pandemic that we’ll ever have to deal with.'”

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.