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Trump Attacks W.H.O. Over Criticisms of U.S. Approach to Coronavirus

  • April 08, 2020

During emergencies, the group, a United Nations agency, seeks to identify threats and mitigate risks, support the development of health tools during outbreaks and “support the delivery of essential health services in fragile settings,” according to the website.

Earlier Tuesday, the largest bloc of member states at the United Nations delivered a veiled but pointed criticism of the United States over the international response to the coronavirus pandemic, denouncing the use of economic sanctions during the crisis and rejecting any “stigmatization or discrimination” in the battle to defeat the deadly scourge. The United States has resisted pressure from other member states to rescind economic sanctions against Iran, which is among the countries hardest hit by the virus.

Mr. Trump’s accusations against the W.H.O. follow similar criticism from Republican lawmakers who have appeared on Fox News in recent days.

Those lawmakers have accused the organization of failing to question China’s reports on the spread of the coronavirus. Multiple senators have appeared on Fox News, the president’s favored network, to charge that the organization should bear the blame for not curtailing the virus.

“If they had done their job, everybody would have gotten more ready,” Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, said in an interview with the network Monday night. “We wouldn’t have shut down this economy, and we wouldn’t have all these people dead all over the world.”

Mr. Scott, who sits on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said that he had spoken with Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin and the chairman of the committee, and that Mr. Johnson had agreed to investigate the W.H.O.’s response. On Tuesday, Senator Jim Risch, Republican of Idaho and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also called for an independent inquiry into how the group handled the response.

Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, has called on the director general of the W.H.O. to step down. And a group of Republican senators sent a letter to the group in January, demanding that Taiwan, which is not a member of the organization, be included in emergency briefings about the virus.

“Very much needed,” Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, said in response to Mr. Trump’s tweet Tuesday morning. “The W.H.O. has been far too willing to parrot Chinese propaganda.”

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington, and Rick Gladstone from New York.

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