Engel Statement on Trump’s Press Conference

Condemns WHO Withdrawal — Demands We Stand Up for Hong Kong, not Distract from COVID Failures

May 29, 2020

Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“Earlier today, the President delivered a catastrophic body blow to American leadership on the world stage in a transparent distraction from his mismanagement of a crisis that has cost more than 100,000 American lives.”

World Health Organization

“As the world is grappling with this devastating pandemic, cutting off ties with the World Health Organization is like shutting off the fire hydrants in the middle of a blaze. The WHO is only as strong is its members. It follows the course set by the leading voices. If the President were really concerned about China’s influence at the WHO, he would be enhancing America’s role instead of undermining the institution best equipped to cobble together a unified global response. The Foreign Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into the decision to halt funding for the WHO, and we will continue to press for answers about this reckless decision.”

Hong Kong

“When it comes to Hong Kong, it is important that we push back against Beijing’s aggression and stand up for the democracy and autonomy of Hong Kong. But it was also important to do that months ago, when the President wanted a trade deal and couldn’t offer Xi Jinping enough praise and deference. Now, the President wants to shift the blame for his failures onto China, so he’s doing the right thing for the wrong reason. The people of Hong Kong deserve our real, unerring support, not to be pawns in President Trump’s political games.

“None of what the President said today will undo the devastation this pandemic caused while he deflected, denied, and downplayed. It won’t bring back the lives lost in New York or anywhere else in the country. And it will do nothing to help us get through this crisis and begin the process of recovery.”

# # #