The Democratic National Committee immediately condemned President Donald Trump for the announcement on Tuesday that the U.S. was ending financial support for the World Health Organization, and social media followed suit.
The president listed the many mistakes and blunders of the WHO in his scathing statement at the beginning of the coronavirus task force media briefing at the White House.
The DNC focused instead on the coronavirus response from the Trump administration.
“In the middle of a global pandemic, Trump wants to stop funding the preeminent organization in charge of combating global pandemics,” the statement read.
“Trump is willing to put global health further at risk to try to deflect blame from his own failures. But the American people know the truth: It was Trump who ignored warnings for months,” they added.
“But the American people know the truth: It was Trump who ignored warnings for months while he praised China’s ‘transparency.’ It is Trump who cut CDC staff in China who could have shared information about the pandemic. It is Trump’s incompetence that continues to make this crisis worse than it had to be,” the DNC statement concluded.
The online response
Other liberal critics of the president excoriated him on social media and accused him of trying to distract from his own failures.
“Pulling out of the WHO makes America less secure. It makes another pandemic more likely,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
“It only serves Trump’s political interests,” he added, “as he desperately grasps for a scapegoat to deflect attention from his fatal mishandling of this crisis.”
“Freezing funding for the World Health Organization will only make it worse,” claimed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
Former Obama staffer Ben Rhodes said Trump was causing “incalculable damage” to America’s standing.
“He will always do the worst possible thing. There is no bottom to this abyss,” said MSNBC’s Eugene Robinson.
Some figures in the media also pounced on the report to criticize the president.
CNN’s Jim Acosta replied, “Trump is accusing the WHO of mishandling the Coronavirus pandemic while avoiding his own failures on the subject.”
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times said the act would lead to more deaths:
Some critics pointed out that the president himself praised the World Health Organization and China very early on when the first news of the pandemic began to spread.
Here’s the announcement from Trump:
[embedded content] Trump suspends US funding to World Health Organization www.youtube.com