WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday made the following statement on President Trump’s directive to halt payments to World Health Organization (WHO) while U.S. reviews their virus warnings regarding China: 

“Halting payments to the WHO because of China’s failure to alert the public about coronavirus is a blatant ploy by the president to cast blame elsewhere for his own inaction. Pulling out of the WHO makes America much less safe. But right now the President’s priority is finding scapegoats to distract Americans from his negligence, not fixing this crisis,” said Murphy. “Now, more than ever, the United States should be increasing our funding to the WHO, and if necessary use that as leverage to push for reforms. That is how we can enable and strengthen a global response to COVID-19. Moreover, removing our funding and influence at the WHO will leave a vacuum that China will be more than happy to fill.”

Murphy recently announced bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) to reaffirm U.S. commitment to global health security, and reorient the United States’ global pandemic response amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Murphy also authored an op-ed in Foreign Policy about why the United States was virtually impotent from stopping COVID-19 from reaching our shores and what can be done to prepare for the next pandemic.