Written by Cara Chapman in the Press-Republican on April 16, 2020

PLATTSBURGH — North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik supports President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization pending review.

In a tweet Tuesday evening, she characterized the organization’s response regarding COVID-19 as “abject failure” and said it “spewed Chinese Communist Party propaganda that led to terrible global loss of life and economic wreckage.”

She shared a screenshot of a tweet by WHO dated Jan. 14 that said preliminary investigations by Chinese authorities showed “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” of COVID-19.

In a press call with media Wednesday, Stefanik reiterated her concerns.

“We know how damaging that misinformation was and I believe there absolutely should be a review,” she said.

Stefanik did not directly answer the Press-Republican’s questions on whether she believed now was the right time to halt the funding and if it is possible to review WHO’s response to COVID-19 given that the pandemic is not over yet.

“When we’re talking about taxpayer dollars and we are in such a crisis right now, we should not be funding an organization that is putting out misinformation that is having an impact not just on lives in the United States but loss of lives and economic wreckage across the globe,” she said.

“And I do think as we do a look back on this, it will continue to raise concerns about the Chinese government’s failure to be honest with the international community and their failure to be honest with their own people.”

In late March, Stefanik introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that called for “an international investigation into the Chinese Communist Party’s cover-up of the early spread of the coronavirus pandemic” and for China to pay back all nations impacted.

She said the crisis has served to highlight the United States’ over-reliance on China in general for its manufacturing supply chain, naming specifically life-saving drugs and personal protective equipment.

“I do think it’s an opportunity for the U.S. to work with our North American allies and our European allies to push back on Chinese influence in these international organizations.”

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