CNN anchor John King noted Tuesday evening that the World Health Organization dropped the ball in its early response to the coronavirus pandemic, echoing criticisms from President Donald Trump.
Trump on Tuesday announced that he would be pausing the United States’ funding of the WHO, pending an investigation into its handling of the coronavirus. Trump ripped the WHO for the way it aided Chinese authorities’ coverup of the virus outbreak.
King, while criticizing Trump on CNN, conceded that the president’s description of the WHO’s failures was accurate.
“I’m not going to defend the WHO. CNN called the coronavirus a pandemic before the World Health Organization,” King said.
“It was flat footed. It did overly trust China, the president is right about that,” the CNN anchor said, before proceeding to criticize the president for downplaying the virus in its early stages.
The WHO has faced a mounting backlash for running interference for Chinese authorities’ cover-up of the COVID-19 outbreak. WHO officials have consistently echoed Chinese propaganda in talking about the virus.
WHO scientist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said Monday that she suspected human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus “right from the start,” beginning on Dec. 31, 2019.
But WHO officials echoed Chinese authorities and denied any suggestion of human-to-human transmission for weeks after Dec. 31. Chinese doctors, meanwhile, were reported to have known for weeks prior that the virus could be transmitted between humans.