Guiliani slams WHO, China for coronavirus response

Former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiFeehery: Weak mayors destroy America's great cities Coronavirus concerns emerge around debates Giuliani says Black Lives Matter is 'domestic terrorist' group MORE, who also serves as President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' 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 GrahamRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes Democrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick MORE (R-S.C.) vowed to cut funding from the WHO in Congress's next appropriations bill.

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"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."

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 CuomoCalifornia Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup New York may be undercounting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: AP Cuomo calls on NYPD to 'step up' in enforcing coronavirus regulations at bars 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.