Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, during a hearing on “fentanyl analogues and the expiring emergency scheduling order.” (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
As my RedState colleague Brandon Morse reported earlier today, the World Health Organization did not respond well to President Trump’s remarks about possibly putting a “very powerful hold” on their U.S. funding.
in a statement, WHO’s director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Trump that “We will have many body bags in front of us if we don’t behave” and if we don’t “quarantine politicizing COVID.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has been a prominent Republican critic of the WHO’s failures on the disinformation front regarding the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Tuesday night that he was prepared to “take the burden” of cutting their funding off of Trump’s hands:
“Well, I’m going to take the burden off the president. In the next appropriations bill, there’s not going to be any money for the WHO. I’m in charge of the appropriations subcommittee. I’m not going to support funding the WHO under its current leadership. 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 interests to withhold funding because they have failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus and did the same thing in 2015.”
When MacCallum noted numerous instances of the WHO parroting China’s talking points about how the disease was transmitted, Graham pointed out some other issues with the organization’s responses:
“Well not only did they praise [China’s] President Xi, they criticized President Trump. They called his decision to stop travel from China into the United States, I think, basically irresponsible. Here’s the point. Without China being irresponsible, lying to the world about the way that the disease is transmitted, withholding information about the level of infection, silencing doctors, there would be no pandemic.
China is a pandemic incubator. These ‘wet markets’ create conditions for the virus to spread from the human food chain, from wild animals like bats and monkeys. Without China there would be no coronavirus pandemic. And the WHO was slow to react and actually shielded China from legitimate criticism.
No more money to the WHO until they get new people in charge who understand they’re there to help the world fight disease, not apologize for China.”
Watch the exchange below:
“The Chinese Communist Party used the WHO to mislead the world,” Rubio stated. “The organization’s leadership is either complicit or dangerously incompetent. I will work with the Trump Administration to ensure the WHO is independent and has not been compromised by the CCP before we continue our current funding.”