Republican Senator Lindsey Graham pledged to make sure the funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) is cut from Congress's next appropriations bill. He said he would "take the burden off the president" to apparently use his leverage as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee to ensure that the global health agency no longer receives cash from the US.
"And the next appropriations bill, there's not going to be any money for the WHO. I'm in charge of the appropriations subcommittee. I'm not going to support funding the WHO under its current leadership. They've been deceptive. They've been slow and they've been Chinese apologists", Graham said.
He said he does not think "they’re a good investment under the current leadership for the United States", stating that until "they change their behavior and get new leadership, it’s in America’s best interest to withhold funding because they have failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus."
Lindsey Graham says he’s going to take the burden off the President and use his position on the appropriations subcommittee to eliminate any money for the WHO in the next appropriations bill pic.twitter.com/PnxLmcWaYG— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) April 7, 2020
Graham's comments arrived after Trump said during a coronavirus task force press briefing that "we're going to look at it" when asked about the possibility of withholding cash from WHO. The Trump administration has been repeatedly blamed the organization for being "very biased towards China", and has slammed Beijing for "concealment of data" and "massive coverups" amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Amid the blame, Republican lawmakers are demanding that WHO changes its leadership.
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
The @WHO is an accomplice to China's massive coverup of Covid19. That's why I support efforts by @marcorubio & @tedcruz pushing for resignation of WHO director general. He misled the world by blindly trusting a communist regime intent on deception.— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) April 6, 2020
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied wrongdoing, slamming "shameless efforts" to play the "blame game" and becoming one of the first countries to step out of the coronavirus-caused crisis with claims of over 90 percent of patients recovered from the disease.
Globally, the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 1,400,000, with over 390,000 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University Resource Centre data.