Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, deferred Sunday to answer a question about whether it was “fair” to President Trump to cut funding to the World Health Organization, but said China must be more transparent in reporting its cases of new coronavirus.
Birx said that “once the situation is over”, an investigation must be carried out into the way in which the virus has been able to spread in almost all the countries of the Earth and the errors to avoid in order to avoid future pandemics.
“It is still the first country exposed to the pandemic that really has a higher moral obligation to communicate on transparency because every other country in the world makes decisions about it,” said Birx on ABC “This Week” . “And it’s something we can look at once it’s finished.”
President Trump announced last week that the United States was cutting payments to the World Health Organization during the coronavirus pandemic and accused the organization of not doing enough to prevent the virus from spreading during its first appearance in China.
Trump said the epidemic could have been contained at its source and that lives could have been saved if the United Nations health agency had done a better job of investigating the first reports from China.
“WHO has failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable,” said Trump during a briefing on Tuesday. He said the United States would review WHO’s actions to stop the virus before making any decisions about resuming aid.
Trump’s move has been sharply criticized by other world leaders, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressing “full support” for WHO and similar international groups, and stressed that it will require “a strong international response and coordinated “to overcome the pandemic during a call last week with leaders of the Group of Seven.
Meanwhile, the German foreign minister warned on Thursday that cutting funding to the WHO amounted to “throwing the pilot out of the plane.”
Heiko Maas told reporters that the United Nations and its health agency are the “backbone” of the current fight against the epidemic “and that is why it makes no sense to question the functioning and importance of WHO now ”.
Critics argued that cutting WHO funding in the middle of a pandemic made no sense and said there would be a long time after the virus is defeated to review its actions.
The World Health Organization has declared that its work will continue regardless of any action taken by the United States.
Fox News reported last week that the COVID-19 The epidemic probably originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, but not as a biological weapon, but as part of China’s attempt to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are at or above the capabilities of the United States. United.
Sources told Fox News that they thought the initial transmission of the virus – a natural strain studied there – was from the bat to humans and that “patient zero” worked in the laboratory and then entered in the population of Wuhan.
China’s foreign ministry on Thursday rejected suspicions that the virus had escaped from the facility, citing statements from the World Health Organization that there was no evidence that the coronavirus originated from a laboratory .
Bret Baier and The Associated Press of Fox News contributed to this report.