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Guiliani slams WHO, China for coronavirus response

Former New York City Mayor Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiMy Pillow CEO banned by Twitter The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP senator retires Dominion Voting Systems files .3B defamation suit against Giuliani MORE, who also serves as President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' 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 GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair 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 CuomoThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis Cuomo says New York can begin to loosen restrictions: 'Don't get cocky with COVID' Disjointed vaccine distribution poses early test for Biden 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.