CDC Director: ‘We’ve Had a Very Productive Public Health Relationship’ with the WHO

CDC Director: ‘We’ve Had a Very Productive Public Health Relationship’ with the WHO


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Donald Trump has promised to cut US funding from the World Health Organization (WHO) over a supposedly lax response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, but the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has praised his agency’s ongoing relationship with the WHO.

Saying that it “failed in its basic duty” in allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to take hold, Trump announced that the US government is halting its payments — between $400 million and $500 million a year — to the WHO.

In contrast, the chief of the CDC hailed a long and successful relationship with the WHO.

“Yeah, George, CDC and WHO has had a long history of working together in multiple outbreaks throughout the world as we continue to do in this one,” Dr Robert Redfield told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos in an on-air interview. “And so we’ve had a very productive public health relationship. We continue to have that.”

Stephanopoulos pressed Dr Redfield on Trump’s assertion that the WHO “failed,” and he replied, “Again, I think I’d like to do the postmortem on this outbreak once we get through it together.”

Others also criticized Trump’s move, including Melinda Gates, who spoke out the same day that she and her husband, former Microsoft chief Bill Gates, announced an additional donation of $150 million towards the effort to speed vaccines, treatments and other coronavirus needs.

“De-funding the WHO makes absolutely no sense during a pandemic. We need a global coordinated response,” Melinda Gates said.

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