Madeleine Albright: Trump's 'America First' policy hurts US on coronavirus

Madeleine Albright: Trump's 'America First' policy hurts US on coronavirus
© Stefani Reynolds

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE's "America First" stance when it comes to foreign policy, saying that it has hampered the U.S.'s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I think that the current policy of America First or America alone, or America thinking that it's a victim, is totally wrong and counterproductive when especially we do know that there's nothing about this virus that says it stays in one country or that we're not interconnected in terms of supply lines," Albright told The Hill during an interview about her new book, "Hell and Other Destinations."

She added: "And so I do think that President Trump's policy has hurt us in terms of how we're supposed to resolve this now, when we have to work with other countries, when we have to make sure that we are dealing with a virus that, as I said, knows no borders but also needs to be dealt with by countries working together, sharing intelligence information, and not trying to take advantage of each other, but to understand that the only resolution to this is cooperation."


Trump's "America First" policy was one of the main platforms that he ran on in 2016, and is something that his administration has worked hard to implement during the first term of his presidency.

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has not minced words when talking about Chinese leaders, who Trump and other American government officials believe misreported the severity of the outbreak that is believed to have begun in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The president has also referred to COVID-19 as the "Wuhan" or "Chinese" virus in the past, prompting considerable blowback, as many labeled the phrases as insensitive and racist. Trump defended himself by saying that he wanted to make clear where the pandemic had originated.

On Thursday, Trump said that he had seen information that linked the virus to a research lab in Wuhan.

“I think that the World Health Organization [WHO] should be ashamed of themselves because they’re like the public relations agency for China,” Trump added.


In mid-April, the president abruptly halted funding to the WHO while U.S. officials conduct a review "to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

“The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion," he said at the time.

The president's criticism of China and the WHO has run parallel with criticism from lawmakers and health experts from around the country who argue that Trump's initial response to virus hamstrung the U.S.'s overall response to the pandemic.