Post mortem analysis needed US disease control chief says too early to say whether WHO failed after Trump suspends funding

The US CDC director, Robert Redfield, has hailed America’s ‘productive cooperation’ with the WHO as President Donald Trump blamed if for failed response to Covid-19 crisis. It was too early to decide if it failed, Redfield said.

“The CDC and WHO have had a long history of working together in multiple outbreaks throughout the world, and we continue to do [so] on this one,” Robert Redfield told ABC’s Good Morning America, when asked about Trump’s decision to cut the United Nations (UN) health watchdog’s funding. 

Redfield refrained from directly assessing either the president’s actions or those of the WHO, saying it was not the right time to pass judgment. “I would like to do the post-mortem on this outbreak once we get through it together,” he said. He maintained that the relationship between his agency and the WHO has been “very productive” and would continue to be so.

On Monday, Trump cut funding to the WHO, blaming it for “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” He said it had failed to obtain the necessary information in time, allegedly out of fear of offending China, where the virus originated.

Both the WHO and China responded to Trump’s criticism by publishing detailed timelines of their actions to tackle the outbreak, while WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that politicizing the issue would lead only to “more body bags.” Washington’s decision to cease funding has also since been criticized by the UN and America’s allies in Europe.

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