Trump froze funding to the World Health Organization on grounds that it had not given forewarning about the virus but had parroted the Chinese government line that it was contained. Dr. Birx dutifully parroted the Trump line.

The Washington Post disagreed in an editorial.

More than a dozen U.S. researchers, physicians and public health experts, many of them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were working full time at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization as the novel coronavirus emerged late last year and transmitted real-time information about its discovery and spread in China to the Trump administration, according to U.S. and international officials.

A number of CDC staffers are regularly detailed to work at WHO in Geneva as part of a rotation that has operated for years. Senior Trump-appointed health officials also consulted regularly at the highest levels with the WHO as the crisis unfolded, the officials said.
The presence of so many U.S. officials undercuts President Trump’s charge that the WHO’s failure to communicate the extent of the threat, born of a desire to protect China, is largely responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States.

The administration has also sharply criticized the Chinese government for withholding information.

But the president, who often touts a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and is reluctant to inflict damage on a trade deal with Beijing, appears to see the WHO as a more defenseless target.

Asked early Sunday about the presence of CDC and other officials at the WHO, and whether it was “fair to blame the WHO for covering up the spread of this virus,” Deborah Birx, the State Department expert who is part of the White House pandemic team, gently shifted the onus to China, and the need to “over-communicate.”
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“It’s always the first country that get exposed to the pandemic that has a — really a higher moral obligation on communicating, on transparency, because all the other countries around the world are making decisions on that,” Birx told ABC’s This Week. “And when we get through this as a global community, we can figure out really what has to happen for first alerts and transparency and understanding very early on about … how incredibly contagious this virus is.”