President Trump, who has been under criticism for his handling of the response to the coronavirus and has seen his poll numbers drop, on Tuesday blamed the World Health Organization for what he called its failures in the crisis and said he planned to halt American funding of the organization.
The announcement came as Mr. Trump continued to be angered by criticism of his response to the pandemic, which has been assailed as too slow and ineffective, failing to quickly embrace public health measures that could have contained the virus.
“Everybody knows what is going on there,” he said, blaming the organization for what he described as a “disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”
The president did not say whether the United States would permanently stop funding the W.H.O., saying only that it would halt payments while the administration reviewed its role in handling the virus. Last year, the United States contributed about $553 million of the W.H.O.’s $6 billion budget, a significant sum to lose in the middle of a pandemic.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly pointed to his decision to impose travel restrictions on China as proof that he responded early to warnings about the dangers of the coronavirus. He said that decision saved “thousands and thousands of lives,” and the W.H.O. “fought us.” The president blamed the organization for a “20-fold” increase in cases worldwide.
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