The Chinese Communist Party must wake up every morning and thank its lucky stars for the U.S. media. While the rest of the world rages at the regime for a virus that's killed hundreds of thousands of people, America's press corps only sees one villain: Donald Trump. That's been an unexpected blessing for China, who knows the media's red-hot hatred of the president will help undermine anything he does to hold them accountable. Fortunately for America, Donald Trump has had three and a half years of experience ignoring the press -- and he's not going to stop now.
If you thought President Trump had an impossible job before, it was a picnic compared to the pandemic. Americans are dying, the economy is crumbling, world organizations are taking China's side -- and the press seems intent on blaming the White House for all of it. Surely, New York Post's Michael Goodwin insists, despite their personal loathing of Trump, the media would concede that China is at least partially responsible for the coronavirus's deaths and devastation. Think again. "For the Left, Trump and America are to blame. That's where they begin, that's where they end."
Even now, as the president tries to hold the World Health Organization (WHO) accountable, the media is right there -- undermining his every move. But that, Goodwin points out, is where they lose. Because this president is "hellbent on [facing off with China and its cronies], even as our nation's media elites... undercut him."
"No other living Republican would dare to face off with China if it meant also standing up to the [New York] Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and the establishment of both parties. If anyone else were president, China would... [have gotten] away with causing the most deadly pandemic in a century. And were it not for Trump, the WHO still would be a revered institution instead of being unmasked as China's gofer. Indeed, it is only the United States' leadership -- and that means Trump -- that gives all those other countries the backbone even to demand an investigation. Otherwise, they would fold in the face of the threats that Chinese leaders routinely issue to anyone who dares question whether the outbreak could have been stopped."
This president doesn't care if it's politically incorrect to threaten the WHO's funding. "It had one job," as Secretary Mike Pompeo said, "to protect the world from a pandemic, and it didn't..." In a pointed letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Trump lays out his case against the global watchdog, ticking off pages of evidence on the group's negligence, "political gamesmanship," and wholesale defense of China's actions. If the WHO can't "demonstrate independence" from the regime and commit to a complete overhaul, then the U.S., Trump warns, will have no choice.
"It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world..." the president wrote. "I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America's interests. As wildly reckless as China's cover-up was, they would have never succeeded in keeping this from the world if the WHO had acted.
"China knew for 51 days they had an outbreak," Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) reminded listeners on "Washington Watch." "They had 3,000 cases before they said anything. They locked people in their apartments and left them to die. It spread to an epidemic. And then they knew they had a pandemic on their hands before they said anything. President Xi knew this for six days. They didn't let people leave... and go anywhere else in China. But you could get on an international flight and go anywhere else other than China on the face of the earth." And what did the WHO do? Nothing.
Of course, liberals are furious at Trump's funding threat, because they claim that cutting dollars to the WHO will endanger lives around the world. Well, guess what? Lives were already endangered by the WHO when it decided to keep China's secret about the virus. American taxpayers gave almost $900 million to Tedros's group between 2018-19 -- and today, tens of thousands of those taxpayers are dead because their investment couldn't buy them even the barest of warnings. If anyone has a right to demand answers, it's us -- the country that gave the most -- and has paid the dearest.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.