DONALD Trump has savaged the World Health Organisation for giving "faulty" advice during the coronavirus outbreak as the director faces calls to quit over a China "cover up".
The world health body faces growing criticism for its handling of the crisis and for its perceived closeness to the Communist government in Beijing.
And the U.S. president accused the WHO of being too focused on China.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday, he said: "The W.H.O. really blew it.
"For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look.
"Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?"
Last month, Trump voiced a similar sentiment, saying: "If people would have known about it, it would have been something that could have been stopped in its place.
“It would have been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier.
"It could have been contained to that one area in China where it started."
The W.H.O. really blew it … very China centric. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
On January 31, the UN health organization advised countries to keep borders open despite the outbreak, although it noted that countries had the right to take measures to try to protect their citizens.
That same day, Trump's administration announced restrictions on travel from China.
U.S. conservatives have increasingly criticized the WHO during the global pandemic, saying it relied on faulty data from China about the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Last week, Republican Senator Marco Rubio called for the resignation of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying "he allowed Beijing to use the WHO to mislead the global community."
Dr Tedros deceived the world. At one point, he even praised China's 'transparency during its coronavirus response efforts' despite a mountain of evidence showing the regime concealed the severity of the outbreak. This deception cost lives.
And more recently, Republican Senator Martha McSally also said Dr Tedros should resign.
She told Fox News that part of the blame for China's lack of transparency lay with the WHO director-general.
The senator said: "Dr Tedros deceived the world. At one point, he even praised China's 'transparency during its coronavirus response efforts' despite a mountain of evidence showing the regime concealed the severity of the outbreak. This deception cost lives."
In February, when China reported 17,238 infections and 361 deaths, Tedros said there was no need impose travel restrictions.
He said measures that "unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade" were not needed in trying to halt the spread of the virus.
On March 20, he praised the Chinese regime, saying: "For the first time, China has reported no domestic COVID19 cases yesterday.
"This is an amazing achievement, which gives us all reassurance that the coronavirus can be beaten."
China has been accused of significantly downplaying its official virus cases, with some estimates suggesting their death toll could be as high as 40,000.
So far China has officially recorded more than 82,000 cases with 3,331 deaths.
But long queues at the funeral homes and stacks of thousands of urns have fuelled suspicion of China's numbers.
The WHO didn't classify the coronavirus a pandemic until March 11 – by then there were more than 120,000 confirmed cases and nearly 4,400 deaths.
And even after stories emerged showing China had tried to cover up the outbreak in Wuhan, Tedros praised President Xi Jinping's country for its “transparency”.
“We appreciate the seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak,” he said in a statement on January 28.
He then hit out countries including the US for inciting “fear and stigma” by denying entry to travellers from China.
Tedros said there was “no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade."
Regional experts believe the WHO have allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by Beijing and others have accused them of parroting Chinese propaganda.
“I thought the greatest success of the Chinese party-state was in getting the WHO to focus on the positive sides of China’s responses and ignore the negative sides of the responses,” said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at the SOAS university of London.
“With the WHO presenting China’s responses in a positive light, the Chinese government is able to make its propaganda campaign to ignore its earlier mistakes appear credible and to ignore the human, societal, and economic costs of its responses.”
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