Lady Gaga on Friday called the head of the World Health Organization a “superstar," just days after President Trump announced the U.S. would halt funding over the agency's handling of the coronavirus.
“Dr. Tedros, you're truly a superstar,” Gaga said during the WHO's daily briefing while promoting the virtual benefit concert “One Wolrd: Together at Home” for which she partnered with the WHO and Global Citizen. “Thank you so much to the media for telling the stories of all of these medical professionals and getting the word out about how underresourced their systems are.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is facing scrutiny -- including calls for his resignation -- over what the White House calls the organization’s “mismanagement” of the crisis -- and allegations that it failed to demand accurate data from China regarding the pandemic's origins in Wuhan.
Trump also claimed Tuesday that the WHO put "political correctness over lifesaving measures” and said the organization made the "disastrous" decision to oppose travel restrictions on China like the one Trump imposed in late January.
“The WHO repeatedly covered up for China and parroted the Chinese government’s claims that there was no human-to-human transmission," Kayleigh McEnany, the new White House press secretary, tweeted Wednesday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S. and a key member of Trump's coronavirus task force, has said misinformation from China, repeated by the WHO, had affected initial U.S. response efforts.
The U.S. is the WHO’s largest donor.
Trump’s decision has faced pushback from Democrats and others.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump was a “weak” leader, blaming others for his own “ineffective” response to the virus.
“This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged,” she said Wednesday.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that now was “not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.” The WHO is backed by the U.N.
“One World: Together at Home” has already raised $50 million to combat the pandemic, The Hill reported.
“During this time we have seen a coming together of a singular, kind, global community,” Lady Gaga added. “This triumph has instilled in myself and my colleagues a true calling to call upon the private sector and philanthropists to commit millions of dollars to support the World Health Organization's COVID-19 response.”
Fox News Brooke Singman and Gregg Re contributed to this report.