Alex Brandon / AP / Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images
President Trump said on Tuesday that he is suspending US funding for the World Health Organization. He said the agency “mismanaged” the pandemic, was slow to respond to the crisis, and is “focused on China.”
We reviewed the public record to see what Trump and the WHO had to say in the past 15 weeks on the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a timeline highlighting the key quotes.
WHO has reported “pneumonia of unknown cause” in Wuhan, China.
The health organization has advised against restrictions on China: “WHO does not recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions to China based on information currently available on this event. “
The WHO published a statement announcing the source of the disease: “The Chinese authorities have made a preliminary determination of a new (or new) coronavirus, identified in a person hospitalized for pneumonia in Wuhan”.
He added: “In the coming weeks, more information will be needed to understand the current state and epidemiology of the epidemic, as well as the clinical picture.”
Asked by CNBC whether there were concerns about the spread of the virus in the United States, Trump replied, “We have it completely under control. He’s a person from China, and we have him under control. It’s going – it’s going to be fine. “
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement that it was too early to declare the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. “Make no mistake about it. It is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency. She may well become one. “
In one TweeterTrump praised China for its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. “China has worked very hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and their transparency. All of this will work well. In particular, on behalf of the American people, I want to thank President Xi! “
Mike Ryan, head of the WHO health emergency program, said, “The whole world must be alert now. The whole world must take action and be ready for any case that comes from the epicenter or another epicenter that is taking hold. “
At a campaign rally in Iowa, Trump spoke about the US partnership with China to control the disease. “We only have five people, hopefully everything is going to be great. They have a problem, but I hope everything is going to be great. But we work with China, as you know, and other countries very, very closely. So it does not degenerate. ”
Tedros announced that the epidemic has become a “public health emergency of international concern in the face of the global epidemic of new coronavirus”.
In an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump said, “We practically arrested him from China. Its executive decree banning anyone who has stayed in China in the past 14 days – excluding American residents and family members or spouses of American residents or citizens – takes effect.
In WHO briefing, Tedros insisted that there be no travel ban. “We reiterate our call to all countries not to impose restrictions that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. Such restrictions can have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with few public health benefits… Where such measures have been implemented, we urge that they be short-lived, commensurate with the risks for public health and are reviewed regularly as the situation evolves. ”
At a campaign rally in Manchester, NH, Trump said, “It looks like in April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it goes away miraculously. I hope it’s true. But we are doing very well in our country. China, I spoke with President Xi, and they work very, very hard. And I think everything will be fine. ”
At a WHO briefing, Tedros urged world leaders to prioritize containment of the virus: “To be honest, a virus is more powerful at causing political, economic and social change than any attack terrorist. A virus can have more powerful consequences than any terrorist action, and it is true. If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider this enemy virus the number 1 public enemy, I don’t think we’ll learn our lessons. ”
In an interview with Geraldo Rivera, Trump characterized the threat of the virus in the United States by saying: “In our country, we have, roughly, only 12 cases and most of these people are recovering and some cases have completely recovered. So it’s actually less. ”
In one Tweeter, Wrote Trump, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the United States. We are in contact with everyone and all the countries concerned. CDC and World Health have worked hard and very smart. The stock market is starting to look very good to me! “
At a press conference, Trump said, “When you have 15 people, and the 15 in the next few days will be almost zero, it’s a great job we have done. “
WHO lowers global risk for coronaviruses from “high” to “very high”.
In a WHO briefing, Tedros praised China and the United States for having “the right approach.” He said: “After our visit to Beijing and see the approach of China, with President Xi in mind, as well as in the United States, President Trump himself, and also for regular coordination, designating the vice president. These are the approaches that we say are the right ones, and these are the approaches that we believe will mobilize government as a whole. ”
In a Fox News town hall, Trump said, “Everything will work. Everyone must be calm. Everything will work. “
Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images
In a meeting with Republican senators at the US Capitol, Trump said, “It was unexpected … and it hit the world. And we’re ready, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will disappear. Stay calm. It will go away. ”
Trump said in an address to the Oval Office: “The vast majority of Americans, the risk is very, very low. “
Tedros said the WHO “considered COVID-19 to be a pandemic.”
John Paraskevas / Newsday via Getty Images
“You can’t fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we do not know who is infected, “said Tedros during a briefing in Geneva. He added: “We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test each suspected case. “
Trump gives orders to control spread of the virus in the United States during a press briefing: “My administration recommends that all Americans, including young and healthy people, work to attend home school when it is possible. Avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. Avoid discretionary travel. And avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants and public food areas. If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and defeat the virus. And we’re going to have a big party all together. With several weeks of targeted action, we can turn the corner and turn it around quickly. ”
the 17th of March
Trump told reporters, “This is a pandemic … I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. “
Asset tweeted potential treatments for coronaviruses: “HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance of being one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. FDA has moved mountains – Thank you! Hopefully (H works best with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)… .. ”
In a WHO briefing, Tedros said that “the use of untested drugs without the right evidence could raise false hopes and even do more harm than good.”
He also said that “the pandemic is accelerating … It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and only four days for the third 100,000 cases” .
Trump said: “Easter is a very special day for me. And I kind of see it in this timeline that I think about. And I say, wouldn’t it be great to have all the churches full? “
“We are at war with a virus that threatens to separate,” Tedros told world leaders at a special virtual summit on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mike Ryan, head of the WHO health emergency program, said that you cannot lift a blockage all at once. “You have to say,” We will stop doing this part of the judgment, then we will wait and look at the data. And if it works, we go to the next step and the next step. So a gradual and careful exit from the lock. ”
Asset criticized the WHO for mismanaging the pandemic. “WHO really blew it up. For some reason, largely funded by the United States, but very focused on China. We’ll take a look at it. Fortunately, I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China from the start. Why are they giving us such a faulty recommendation? “
“Please don’t politicize this virus,” Tedros said during a briefing in Geneva after being asked about Trump’s remarks. the day before. He then urged political leaders to “quarantine the politicization of COVID”.
“Today, I order my administration to suspend funding for the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the role of the World Health Organization in the mismanagement and concealment of the spread of the coronavirus, “Trump said during a White House briefing.
“We regret the President of the United States’ decision to stop funding the World Health Organization,” Tedros said at a press conference.
Responding to the American accusations, Mike Ryan of the WHO said that “in the first weeks of January, the WHO was very, very clear.”
“We alerted the world on January 5,” said Ryan. “Systems around the world, including the United States, started activating their incident management systems on January 6. And over the next few weeks, we’ve produced several updates to countries, including information to several governments, several scientists around the world, on the developing situation – and that’s what it was. , a developing situation. ”
In an interview with NPR to be broadcast on April 16, the US ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft said: ” [the World Health Organization] was not correct, if it had been correct, it would have slowed the virus and saved thousands of lives. ”
Jason Beaubien, Pien Huang, Ben de la Cruz, Isabella Gomez Sarmiento and Domenico Montanaro contributed to this report.