WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after President Trump announced he will cut U.S. ties with the World Health Organization (WHO), which serves as a central coordinating body for global public health emergencies, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) issued the following statement:

“Cutting ties to the World Health Organization doesn’t help in any way.  President Trump once again fails to realize that this is a pandemic.  He can’t wish it away by blaming the WHO or anyone else.  I don’t expect the President to change his pattern of deflection, misdirection, and falsehoods, but I do hope that my Republican colleagues understand that he is continuing to erode American leadership and our security.  

“Rather than reforming and strengthening the WHO, President Trump is retreating and regressing.  That will likely lead to more instability and increase the global spread of disease.  

“President Trump is railing against China today, but back in February he was touting China’s strong coronavirus response, transparency, and close coordination with his administration.  Was he being disingenuous then or now or both?

“This latest move is just another example of President Trump ceding influence to China and making America less secure.  The World Health Organization helped us get rid of small pox. Now President Trump is abandoning the WHO, and that is a major setback for public health and American influence.  It gives America less of a say on how and what the WHO focuses on and represents another serious unforced error by this Administration.”

 Reed noted that on February 7, President Trump tweeted: “Just had a long and very good conversation by phone with President Xi of China. He is strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus. He feels they are doing very well, even building hospitals in a matter of only days. Nothing is easy, but...

“....he will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!”