U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday during the daily briefing from the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force at the White House regarding the country’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic that he would put a hold on funding to the World Health Organization (WHO). Trump later backtracked on the issue and said he would instead “look into” the issue.
Trump criticized the WHO’s response to the pandemic and questioned the organization’s relationship with China, saying the WHO had “called it wrong” without specifying what he was referring to.
The president also defended his own administration’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying he hadn’t seen a memo from Peter Navarro written in January, warning about the potential consequences of a pandemic on the United States.
The memo was reportedly circulating in late January as Trump was downplaying the severity of COVID-19. In February, Trump said cases of the virus would soon drop to “close to zero.”
The president defended these comments to reporters, saying his job as president is to “be a cheerleader” for the country and added that in late January he made the decision to block some travel from China.
On Tuesday, according to data compiled from researchers at John Hopkins University, the U.S. had 387,547 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 12, 291 deaths.
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