House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to halt all U.S. funds for the World Health Organization for failing to adequately warn about the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.
Pelosi said in a statement that she will “swiftly” challenge the move, calling it “senseless,” “dangerous,” and “illegal.”
“This is another case, as I have said, of the president’s ineffective response, that ‘a weak person, a poor leader, takes no responsibility. A weak person blames others,’” the speaker said. “This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged.”
“We can only be successful in defeating this global pandemic through a coordinated international response with respect for science and data,” she added. “But sadly, as he has since Day One, the president is ignoring global health experts, disregarding science, and undermining the heroes fighting on the frontline, at great risk to the lives and livelihoods of Americans and people around the world.”
President Trump on Tuesday announced he had ordered a halt on funding for the World Health Organization while the administration conducts a review of the group’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking during a briefing by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Trump accused W.H.O. of “mismanaging and covering up the spread” of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 25,000 people in the United States.
“As the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability,” he said.
Trump stated the decision was made to hold W.H.O. accountable after he said it failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information about the virus in a “timely and transparent fashion.”
“America and the world have chosen to rely on the W.H.O. for accurate, timely and independent information to make important public health recommendations and decisions,” said the president. “If we cannot trust that this is what we will receive from the WHO, our country will be forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals.”
The UPI contributed to this report.