Trump Says WHO ‘Blew It’ on Coronavirus Travel Advice

President Donald Trump said the World Health Organization “blew it” on the coronavirus outbreak and was wrong to advise against travel restrictions he imposed on China.

Trump called the Geneva-based international body “very China centric” and said in a tweet that he would give it “a good look.”

The WHO hasurged countries to avoid blanket travel bans to countries experiencing outbreaks because historically such moves have been ineffective. People often book flights through another hub, which can make their movements difficult for authorities to trace. Restrictions can also prevent countries from receiving medical equipment and vital goods.

The WHO has a policy of avoiding public criticism in order to avoid undercutting countries’ health measures. Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said Trump was doing a “great job” by using what Trump has called a whole-government approach. He also praised the president for leveraging research and development, engaging with the private sector on things such as medical supplies, expanding testing and educating the public.

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Tedros has also repeatedly praised China, even as Beijing was criticized by other countries and organizations for being slow to respond initially to the outbreak there and for resisting cooperation with international disease-trackers.

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