What John Oliver Said About Donald Trump in Latest Episode of 'Last Week Tonight'

John Oliver has criticized Donald Trump's decision to cut ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) during the latest episode of Last Week Tonight.

The British comedian took a deep dive into Trump's previous criticism of the UN agency on Sunday night.

Oliver called WHO "one of the president's favorite punching bags" before slamming his claims that the organization is a "pipe organ for China".

The president first announced his plans to withdraw from WHO in May. He then formally notified the U.N. and Congress of his intentions in July, although the process for the U.S. to leave can take up to a year.

Despite widespread calls from the EU and others, Trump has maintained that he will pull out of the agency and redirect funds elsewhere.

Oliver began the show's segment by playing footage of Trump attacking WHO, saying the agency "should be ashamed of themselves."

"I'm not happy with the World Health Organization. They're a puppet of China," Trump also says in one of the clips.

But Oliver claimed that Trump has "consistently tried to deflect blame" for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic onto WHO and China as well as "the close relationship that he claims the two have".

"At the beginning of July he turned that criticism into real action," Oliver added.

Oliver added that while the WHO constitution doesn't allow members to withdraw, the U.S. passed a resolution decades ago giving the country the option to withdraw with one year's notice.

Oliver said: "The thing is, Trump is not bluffing. He's already submitted a notice of withdrawal to the U.N. to take effect next July. So the clock is ticking here."

Oliver outlines consequences of U.S. leaving WHO

The host said that WHO "coordinates global responses to a wide range of health issues, including alerting the world to threat, fighting diseases, developing policy and improving access to care."

Oliver also said that one of the organization's biggest powers is that it can "declare a public health emergency of international concern and issue recommendations on how countries should respond."

However, the agency has "absolutely no power on its own to enforce these recommendations," Oliver added.

"It can only act within a country to the extent that that county allows it to."

Oliver said that despite WHO's "significant limitations" the agency has led the eradication of smallpox and the seasonal flu vaccine development.

Oliver said: "The WHO is also currently tracking and responding to dozens of infectious disease outbreaks around the world, including monkeypox, yellow fever, and an ongoing Ebola outbreak.

"And when, let's say hypothetically, a pandemic breaks out, the organization can provide a critical role as a central clearinghouse of information, conducting investigations and releasing information to the public."

Oliver said that WHO currently operates on a budget of $2.4 billion, "which might sound like a lot, but it's around the same amount it costs to run a single U.S. hospital."

Oliver addresses Trump's criticisms of WHO

Responding to Trump's complaint that the U.S. pays the agency far more than China, Oliver explained how WHO is funded, adding that the reasons for the country's large contribution dates back to the Ronald Reagan administration.

Oliver then addressed the president's criticism that WHO is "is a literal pipe organ for China." Oliver said: "It literally isn't."

He said: "Now what they were essentially arguing there is the WHO mishandled the pandemic because they're deferential to China.

"And while there is some truth to each half of that statement, they're not true together."

Oliver explained that the organization "arguably took too long to advise universal mask-wearing and to clearly acknowledge the threat of indoor airborne transmission".

But he added that there is no evidence the agency did this to appease China.

He said: "In the early stages of a pandemic, even experts tend to—and I'm going to use a technical term here—not know what the [expletive] is going on."

Oliver said that leaving the organization is "taking the fire engines away in the middle of fighting the fire or getting rid of the lifeboats while the boat is sinking or choosing to edit Kevin Spacey into a movie just weeks before its release date."

"It's the worst possible decision at the worst possible time."

What else did Oliver discuss on Last Week Tonight?

Before he launched into the main topic of Trump and WHO, Oliver quickly discussed Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearings, describing them as "two full days of questions and non-answers".

He then spoke about the televised election events that former Vice-President Joe Biden and Trump took part in during the week.

After the second debate did not happen due to coronavirus concerns, both candidates hosted a town hall.

Oliver said a "high point" from Trump's town hall was when a woman said she was a "daughter of immigrants" and that her parents had fled "Eastern Europe due to religious persecution".

She then complimented his smile and called him "handsome" before asking him about his plans to cut the DACA program.

Oliver said: "That might actually be the perfect way to ask Trump a question. 'You have a lovely smile. Anyway, you'd have doomed my ancestors to die in the Holocaust.'"

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