Cuomo joins criticism of WHO response: 'Where were the warning signs?'

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNYT editorial board remembers Ginsburg: She 'will forever have two legacies' New York to honor Ginsburg with statue in Brooklyn New York City bus driver knocked out by passenger he told to wear a mask MORE (D) on Friday joined a growing number of politicians on both sides of the aisle in criticizing the World Health Organization's (WHO) response to the coronavirus crisis.

“Where were the warning signs? Who should have blown the whistle?" Cuomo asked at a daily briefing. “The president has asked this question, and I think he’s right. The president’s answer is the World Health Organization should’ve been blowing the whistle.”

Cuomo said that as a governor he doesn’t deal with much foreign policy, so he “doesn’t know if that’s right or wrong, but I know the question is right and sometimes the question is more important than the answer.”

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Cuomo noted that as soon as December and January, headlines began to appear about a new virus showing up in China but the WHO, a branch of the United Nations, did not send out formal warnings to member countries.

“Where were the international experts saying, ‘Well if this is happening there, this is what we should expect to happen in the United States or prepare to happen in the United States’?” Cuomo said. “Did we really need to be in this situation where the United States winds up having a higher number of cases than the places that came before?”

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President Trump and various Republican lawmakers have gone after the WHO in recent days, with Trump saying the U.S. would consider suspending funding for the organization over its response to the global outbreak. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the group's budget.

The Trump administration itself has received criticism for internal reports within the intelligence community and military that warned of the consequences of a pandemic before significant action was taken.

“I don’t want to get into pointing fingers,” Cuomo said Friday when asked about the federal government’s response. “Let's not get into the blame games.”