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Criticism of Trump's WHO Move Swells

Pelosi says it will be 'swiftly challenged'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2020 2:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump is taking an increasing amount of flak for his decision to cut off US funding to the World Health Organization, with even those who agree with some of his criticisms of the UN health agency's handing of the pandemic saying now is not the time to deprive it of funds. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday that while he sympathizes with Trump's criticisms of the WHO and its relationship with China, the agency still does important work and it would be wrong "to throw the baby out with the bathwater," NBC reports. More:

  • "Illegal," Pelosi says. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Trump's move is "dangerous, illegal, and will be swiftly challenged," Politico reports. Congress has already approved the WHO contribution, and a rep for the House Appropriations Committee says Trump "does not have the unilateral authority to withhold the United States’ assessed contribution" and is now violating the same law that led to his impeachment.
  • Counterpoint: But Politico also speaks with an unnamed senior administration official who points out the fiscal 2020 appropriations law states that the money must go not specifically to the WHO but to "necessary expenses, not otherwise provided for, to meet annual obligations of membership in international multilateral organizations." That gives the administration leeway, the official contends.

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