Guiliani slams WHO, China for coronavirus response

Former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Breaking: Justice Breyer to retire Best path to Jan. 6 accountability: A civil suit against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Russia attack 'would change the world' MORE, who also serves as President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE's personal lawyer on Sunday took a swipe at China and the World Health Organization (WHO) over their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “[China's] failure to communicate clearly with WHO is a crime of international proportions," the former New York mayor said on John Catsimatidis’s radio show. "And WHO fixing it for China is disgraceful."

The WHO declared the coronavirus a global pandemic in early March. The novel virus originated in Wuhan, China, and spread rapidly in the area at the beginning of the 2020 New Year before the outbreak reached other countries.  

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Giuliani continued, adding: “There is a lot to be looked into with China… I don’t know if this was in someway deliberate or it was an accident. I don’t believe any part of their story. I think they’re hiding the number of deaths right now.”

The comments from the former New York City mayor come as skepticism has grown about the "authentic" number of positive coronavirus cases in China. The New York Times reported earlier this month that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been warning the Trump administration since February that the country has been underreporting the number of COVID-19 cases. 

China currently has over 83,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

But Giuliani isn't the first person to criticize the WHO's handling of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell: I'm going to give Biden's Supreme Court nominee 'a fair look' The Hill's Morning Report - Who will replace Justice Breyer? Breyer retirement throws curveball into midterms MORE (R-S.C.) vowed to cut funding from the WHO in Congress's next appropriations bill.

"I’m not going to support funding the WHO under its current leadership," Graham said. "They’ve been deceptive, they’ve been slow, and they’ve been Chinese apologists. 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."

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The U.S. is the world's largest contributor to the WHO. President Trump's fiscal budget for 2021 proposes cutting funding to the organization from $122 million to about $58 million.

On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoJudge strikes down New York's indoor mask mandate Hochul raises .6 million since launching gubernatorial campaign Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India MORE (D) questioned the organization for what he claimed was a lack of warning signs about the impending pandemic.

“The president has asked this question, and I think he’s right," Cuomo said. "The president’s answer is the World Health Organization should’ve been blowing the whistle.”

The coronavirus has sickened 1.7 million people across the globe, and killed over 108,000 people as of Saturday evening. 

John Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill.