Pompeo says WHO needs ‘to do its job’ as Trump moves to halt funding
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday night, saying the international body needs to “do its job” as President Trump moves to halt U.S. funding to the group.
“We need transparency, and we need the World Health Organization to do its job, to perform its primary function, which is to make sure that the world has accurate, timely, effective, real information about what’s going on in the global health space. And they didn’t get that done here,” Pompeo said on Fox News.
The remark came hours after Trump announced that he was halting funding to the WHO amid a review of the United Nations body over claims of mismanagement surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
“The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion,” Trump said at a press conference Tuesday.
Trump first announced last week that he was mulling halting money to the group for miscalculating the seriousness of the pandemic in China, where the virus originated.
“They missed the call. They could have called it months earlier. They would have known, and they should have known, and they probably did know,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing. “It’s a great thing if it works, but when they call every shot wrong, that’s not good.”
The international health group has been buried under an avalanche of Republican criticism over alleged favoritism toward China, with many conservatives noting Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s praise of China’s handling of the virus despite widespread reports that Beijing sought to downplay the extent of its outbreak.
“The mission of the WHO is to get public health information to the world so every country can make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who has called for a congressional probe into the WHO, said last month. “When it comes to coronavirus, the WHO failed. They need to be held accountable for their role in promoting misinformation and helping Communist China cover up a global pandemic.”