Donald Trump took less than 20 minutes to backtrack on a comment he made about suspending funds to the World Health Organisation during his coronavirus task force briefing.
During the press conference, the president vowed to place "a very powerful hold" on money that is donated to the WHO by the US government as he continued to criticise their handling of the pandemic.
The World Health Organisation called it wrong. They really...they missed the call. They could have called it months earlier. They should've known and they probably did know. We'll be looking into that very carefully and we will put a hold on any money spent to the WHO. Put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see. It’s a great thing if it works but when they call every shot wrong, it’s not good.
This comes after Trump faced fresh criticism for his handling of the crisis but has consistently shifted the blame on to the WHO, whicg he feels is too 'China-centric'.
However, his threats to the organisation would appear to be just that as just moments later he was quizzed about suspending their funds, which he then immediately denied ever saying.
When asked by a reporter if the middle of a pandemic was the right time to be withholding money to the WHO he said:
No, maybe not. I’m not saying I’m going to do it but we’re going to look at it.
The aforementioned reported the interrupted Trump to remind him that he did say that but he still continued to deny it.
No, I didn’t, I said we’re going to look at it. We’re going to investigate it, we’re going to look at it. But we will look at ending funding, yeah, because you know what, they called it wrong, and if you look back over the years even, everything seems to be very biased toward China. That’s not right.
TRUMP: "Were going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO."
*16 minutes later*
REPORTER: Is the time to freeze f… https://t.co/5duefH09Hw
This is hardly the first time that Trump has backtracked on one of his own comments but it still doesn't make it any more shocking or unbelievable especially when thousands of people's lives are at risk.
The United States has more than 330,000 cases of Covid-19, more than any other nation on Earth and has resulted in at least 12,000 confirmed deaths.