Watch CBSN Live

CDC director calls WHO "a great partner" after Trump cuts funding to global agency

CDC director calls WHO a "long-standing" ally
CDC director calls WHO a "long-standing" ally... 07:01

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield sidestepped questions on whether President Donald Trump's pledge to cut off funding to the World Health Organization was "dangerous" on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday, maintaining that the CDC would continue to work with WHO. 

"WHO has been a long-term and still is a great partner for us," he said. "Those decisions that are going to be made above related to some of the geopolitical issues, I have to leave to those that really have that expertise, but for me and for CDC and the public health arena, we're continuing to work side-by-side with WHO to do the best that we can to limit the spread of disease and to protect the American people."

Mr. Trump on Tuesday accused WHO of making mistakes that worsened the global spread of coronavirus, as he announced funding would be cut.

Redfield said he would not analyze what could have been done better in the response to the pandemic until it is over. 

"I think it's important at this point that we leave the analysis of what could have been done better and what maybe we did well to once we get through this," he said. 

On when the United States could start to ease mitigation, Redfield said he thinks "some social distancing" will continue to be necessary as the country waits for a vaccine for coronavirus. He also said certain steps need to be taken before states start to lift restrictions.

"It's going to be really important to get a few things in place. More, obviously, testing for early diagnostics, expand the public health capacity for early diagnosis, isolation and contact-tracing," he said. 

Quickly diagnosing cases, isolating people who are infected and tracing who they've had contact with is "fundamental" to contain the virus, Redfield said. 

"This outbreak got beyond containment this time," he said. "We need to get it back, so the containment's an important part of our overall strategy that then will be supported by some targeted mitigation."

Redfield said the country is "continuing to improve the availability of testing every day" and is working to expand the public health work force. But he did not say how that expansion was happening and said the ultimate number of people needed "is still speculative." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.