US President Donald Trump slammed the World Health Organization for its “faulty recommendation” that the US – which now has more coronavirus cases than China – should keep its borders open during the early weeks of the epidemic.
The president warned he would be having a “good look” at why the WHO, chiefly funded by the US, was so “China centric” in a tweet on Tuesday.
Congratulating himself for not listening to the NGO’s advice, Trump wondered aloud about its motivations.
As the coronavirus epidemic has grown from a localized outbreak around Wuhan, China to a global pandemic, world leaders have rushed to point fingers, each accusing the others of “getting it wrong” early on. While Trump’s early attempts to downplay the seriousness of the virus have gotten heaps of media attention, the WHO’s early reports that there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission have been largely forgotten.
The UN health organization’s recommendations have shifted dramatically over the intervening weeks. As of Tuesday, a spokesman was warning countries eager to get back to work that lifting some of the sweeping restrictions that have pitched the world economy into a death spiral would trigger a resurgence of the epidemic, even in areas where it seems to be waning.
While Trump had previously expressed hope of getting Americans out of their lockdowns by Easter, he seemed more recently to have resigned himself and the nation to another month of quarantine. Meanwhile, the US economy continues to bleed out, with over 10 million workers filing unemployment claims in the last two weeks.
The US leads the world in number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with 368,533 as of Tuesday to China’s 82,718. Some 11,018 people have died with the virus in the US, a good deal more than China’s officially confirmed 3,335 deaths. The WHO praised China’s strict quarantines and other sweeping control measures for slowing the spread of the virus. However, the US’ own efforts to emulate Beijing with mass lockdowns were doomed by foot-dragging and false starts on testing.
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