Sen. Graham says 'no more money to the WHO,' calls them 'Chinese apologists'

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Tuesday that the World Health Organization (WHO) should not receive funding from the United States under its current leadership, accusing the global health agency of covering for China's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"[In]the next appropriations bill, there's not going to be any money for the WHO," Graham said on "The Story with Martha MacCallum". "I'm in charge of the appropriations subcommittee. I'm not going to support funding the WHO under its current leadership. They've been deceptive. They've been slow and they've been Chinese apologists.

"I don't think they're a good investment, under the current leadership, for the United States," Graham added. "And until they change their behavior and get new leadership, I think it's in America's best interests to withhold funding because they have failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus."

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Graham was responding to President Trump's comments during Tuesday's coronavirus task force press briefing, during which he said, "We’re going to put a hold on the money sent to the WHO.”

"They had a lot of information early. They seem to be very China-centric. And we have to look into that," Trump said Tuesday. "So, we're going to look into it and we're going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We're going to put a very powerful hold on it."

Graham also had harsh words for China and its responsibility for the global pandemic.

"Without China being irresponsible, lying to the world about the way the disease is transmitted, withholding information about the level of infection, silencing doctors, there would be no pandemic," Graham said. "China is a pandemic incubator. These wet markets create conditions for the virus to spread to the human food chain, from wild animals like bats and monkeys."

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The senator again declared that the WHO would not receive U.S. money until it understands its mission.

"No more money to the WHO until they get new people in charge who will understand that they're there to help the world fight disease, not apologize for China."