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GOP Senator Criticizes Trump for Severing Ties With WHO 'in the Middle of' Health Crisis

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to sever ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday evening, the Tennessee lawmaker penned a letter to the president expressing his disapproval of the decision.

“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, wrote.

While he did agree that there needs to be an evaluation of WHO’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, he argues that now is not the time, considering the country is still “in the middle of” the global health crisis.

“Certainly there needs to be a good hard, look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”

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See Alexander’s full letter below:

Alexander also noted multiple problems the United States could face as a result of the president’s abrupt decision, as he noted the importance of clinical trials and the global effort needed to combat the virus.

“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need. And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”

Alexander’s letter came less than one day after Trump’s press briefing in the Rose Garden. On Friday afternoon, the president announced his decision for the United States to sever ties with the United States.

“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent, global public health needs,” Trump said.

See Trump’s remarks below:

The president added, “The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency.”

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