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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Video: Trump’s WHO Announcement


In this video, we look at some of the claims that President Donald Trump made when he announced his administration would halt funding for the World Health Organization.

The video reviews these statements that the president made in his April 14 announcement:

  • Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claim that if he hadn’t put restrictions on travel from China, “probably hundreds of thousands more” would have died from the novel coronavirus. Research shows travel restrictions can delay the exportation of cases, but they can’t contain the spread of viruses.
  • The president exaggerated when he said the WHO “actually fought” the U.S. over his decision to impose travel restrictions on China. WHO has advised countries not to enact travel restrictions, but WHO leaders have not publicly criticized the U.S.’ decision. 
  • Trump accused the WHO of taking “China’s assurances” about the coronavirus “at face value … even praising China for its so-called transparency.” But early on Trump also thanked China for “their efforts and transparency.”
  • The president said the WHO failed to investigate “credible reports” of human-to-human transmission in December 2019, claiming the agency said the virus “was not communicable.” But the WHO wasn’t notified of an outbreak in Wuhan until Dec. 31, and it never said the virus wasn’t communicable.

For more information, see our story, “FactChecking Trump’s Attack on the WHO.”