During a Wednesday appearance on Fox & Friends, Donald Trump‘s White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, attacked the World Health Organization (WHO), Raw Story reported. The criticism comes after the president announced on Tuesday that he is ending funding to the organization amid an investigation into its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, Conway was supportive of Trump’s decision and suggested that the WHO failed in its handling of the pandemic that continues to wreak havoc around the world.
“We have every right to know because of what’s happened here in this global pandemic, but there’s another reason, some of the scientists and doctors say that there could be other strains later on, this could come back in the fall in a limited way,” she said.
“This is COVID-19, not COVID-1, folks! And so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization facts and figures should be on top of that right now.”
Despite the implication of Conway’s comment — that the number at the end of COVID-19 means it’s the 19th strain — Media Matters for America researcher Bobby Lewis pointed out that the number refers to the year of the virus’ discovery, 2019. As for the number of COVID-19 strains, scientists claim there are currently eight different variations spreading across the world, none more harmful than the other.
The WHO has faced criticism for its relationship with China. As The Inquisitr previously reported, author Matt Stoller noted that the organization echoed China’s initial suggestion that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus. He also claimed that the Chinese Communist Party controls the organization and suggested that it is mired in corruption.
In response to the White House’s cut in funding, China has urged the United States to reverse its decision, Bloomberg reported. During a briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian addressed the move.
“This U.S. decision will weaken the WHO’s capabilities and undermine international cooperation,” he said.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus responded to Trump’s criticism by providing a timeline of the organization’s response to the pandemic.
“Please quarantine politicizing Covid,” he said, adding that the “unity” of the United States will be essential in combating COVID-19.
Despite the criticism of the WHO, it declared the virus a public health emergency in late January, CTV News reported. The warning sparked billionaire Bill Gates’ pledge of up to $100 million to combat the virus’ spread.
According to Trump, the U.S. provides $400 to $500 million to the WHO each year. Conversely, China allegedly donates approximately $40 million.