President Trump says the US is halting payments to the World Health Organization while his administration investigates the UN health agency's failure to carry out its "basic duty." In his Tuesday briefing, Trump accused the WHO of "severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," the New York Times reports. "The WHO pushed China’s misinformation about the virus," said Trump. The president called the agency's advice against travel restrictions "disastrous" and said lives could have been saved if the WHO had done a better job of investigating early reports of the outbreak in China, reports the AP. The WHO, Trump said, "defended the actions of the Chinese government, even praising its so-called transparency."
Trump also appeared to backtrack on his claim to have "total" authority to order states when to reopen their economies, an assertion that was rejected by constitutional scholars as well as state governors. Instead, he said he would be "authorizing each individual governor of each individual state to implement a reopening—and a very powerful reopening—plan of their state at a time and in a matter as most appropriate." He said he wasn't going to put pressure on any state to reopen before it is ready, NBC reports. Trump said he would soon be speaking to the governors of all 50 states, and there are "over 20 that are in extremely good shape" which could reopen soon. (Earlier Tuesday, Trump accused governors of "mutiny.")