WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he will “put a hold” on United States funding to the World Health Organization, claiming that they “missed the call” in their handling of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The president made his remarks in a Tuesday White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, where he continued to boast about the United States’ response to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Interestingly, the World Health Organization was not in favor of us closing it down,” Trump said. “And if we didn’t close it down, we would have lost hundreds of thousands more lives.”
Trump said in the briefing that he didn’t say he was going to pull funding. A reporter then noted that he did say that earlier. The president responded by saying, “No I didn’t, they called it wrong.”
The WHO has praised China for its transparency on the virus, even though there is reason to believe that more people died of COVID-19 than the country’s official tally.
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Throughout his presidency, Trump has voiced skepticism of many international organizations.
A reporter noted in the briefing how the president was previously downplaying the threat of the novel coronavirus in the United States, stating how he thought it was a problem that was “going to go away within a couple of days” and that cases would be down to zero.
“You have to understand I’m a cheerleader for this country, I don’t want to create havoc and shock and everything else, but ultimately, when I was saying that, I’m also closing it down,” Trump said.
Earlier in the day, the president tweeted that the WHO “blew it."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.