ABC, CBS and NBC parroted Democrat complaints criticizing President Trump Wednesday for his decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization, an agency of the United Nations, for “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of acknowledging WHO’s failures, the networks fretted that this was a “dangerous” decision and would surely cause “damage” to the global response to the virus. ABC and CBS also went out of their way to defend the organization from Trump’s criticisms and shift the blame back onto him.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and CBS’s Anthony Mason both interviewed CDC director Robert Redfield and demanded he bash President Trump’s “dangerous” decision to cut funding to the politically compromised United Nations organization. On Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos questioned how “wise” it was to cut funding “in the middle of a crisis:”
We're joined by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield. Thanks for joining us this morning. I want to pick up where Tom just left off right there, the failures of China. President Trump as he suspended aid for the World Health Organization suggested that the W.H.O. was in league with China on some of their decisions. Did the W.H.O. fail here, and is it wise to suspend funding in the middle of this crisis? Bill Gates calls that dangerous.
After Redfield distanced himself from Trump’s comments, saying that the CDC and WHO had a productive relationship, Stephanopoulos demanded he get political. “So they didn’t fail?” the ABC anchor reiterated, but still didn’t get the Trump-bashing answer he was fishing for.
CBS’s Mason was even more persistent in his attempts with the CDC director. He went from asking if cutting funding was “dangerous” to the coronavirus response, to then demanding to know how much “damage” would be done by this move by Trump:
On the topic of the World Health Organization and the president cutting off funding, Bill Gates said overnight in his words that that is as dangerous as it sounds. You've called the W.H.O. an important partner. Do you view cutting off funding to them as dangerous?
Dr. Redfield, if you cut off funding, if you cut off funding to the W.H.O. -- This is a significant amount of their funding -- in the middle of a pandemic, what's the impact internationally to fighting this virus?
Redfield kept repeating how the WHO was a working partner with the CDC instead of taking Mason’s bait to bash Trump. Irritated, Mason ended the interview with, “All right. Dr. Redfield, that's not really telling me how much damage you think this is going to do, but thank you very much.”
This isn’t the first time ABC and CBS have teamed up to defend the organization that has been guilty of spreading Chinese propaganda. Just one week ago, the two networks rushed to defend the WHO from President Trump’s criticism and fret about his threats to cut funding.
However, all three networks spent time defending the WHO in various reports, while criticizing Trump for “shifting blame” and “pointing fingers” at the global organization. Here’s some of the comments from ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today show:
ABC’s Cecilia Vega: [B]ut now in the face of increasing evidence that his administration was slow to respond, he has grown increasingly frustrated in recent days looking to shift the blame, the latest scapegoat we were just talking about that, the W.H.O., the president genuinely believes, Michael, that he's not getting enough credit here on this one.
ABC’s Tom Llamas: This as critics say President Trump is trying to shift the blame by taking on an international body. This morning, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the president pointing fingers.
CBS’s Paula Reid: “The president announced he will suspend funding for the World Health Organization. The international body which is coordinating the global fight against this pandemic through actions like shipping lifesaving medical supplies to 95 countries.
NBC’s Kristen Welker: The U.S. is the largest contributor to the W.H.O. and there could be a battle brewing over those funds. Some top Democrats say the president doesn't have the authority to unilaterally cut the funds. They also note that he initially praised China’s response to the virus and they say bottom line, cutting those funds could hurt the global response.