CDC Director contradicts Trump, says US and WHO have a “very productive public health relationship”


  • Dr. Robert Redfield, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, told the Good Morning America show on Wednesday that the US and the WHO built a very productive public relationship and will continue to work together against COVID-19.
  • The interview came after President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the US will temporarily stop funding the WHO as it “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable” on how it handled the outbreak.
  • Trump’s decision to suspend the funding did not sit well with many leaders and prominent organizations especially in this time of crisis.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that the United States and the World Health Organization (WHO) had a “very productive public health relationship” — following President Donald Trump’s harsh criticisms against the international group.

On Wednesday, Redfield appeared on “Good Morning America” and was asked by host George Stephanopoulos regarding Trump’s questionable move to suspend the finding to the WHO amid a global pandemic.

“Did the WHO fail here? Is it wise to suspend funding in the middle of this crisis?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“The CDC and WHO has had a long history of working together in multiple outbreaks throughout the world, as we continue to do with this one… We’ve had a very productive public health relationship. We continue to have that,” Redfield said.

When pressed on whether or not WHO “failed,” Redfield paused, then said: “I’d like to do the post-mortem on this outbreak once we get through it together.” 

Trump announced on Tuesday in a White House news conference that the government will temporarily freeze its funding to the WHO as the agency “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.” He asserted that the international group promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus — “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus.”

He argued that the actions taken by the WHO caused the global virus outbreak. Trump believed that if he had not barred travels from China on January 31, “thousands and thousands of lives would have died.” Trump, however, did not dispense any evidence to support his claim.

According to Reuters, US’ provision of more than $400 million to the WHO in 2019 made US the organization’s biggest benefactor worldwide.

Trump’s statement about halting WHO sponsorship did not sit well with many leaders and organizations, some of which include Bill Gates and The United States Chamber of Commerce, an American lobbying group that backs Republican political aspirants.

On his tweet on Tuesday, Gates said that the decision was “as dangerous as it sounds,” adding that “Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs WHO now more than ever.”

On Wednesday, the US Chamber of Commerce told an Associated Press reporter that Trump’s action was “not in U.S. interests given the organization’s critical role assisting other countries — particularly in the developing world — in their response.”


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