Here's a look at the advantages of both WordPress and static HTML for building a new website:
The major advantages I can see for using WordPress would be:
1. Easier to allow others to post your content for you.
2. Easier to accommodate guest posting.
2. If you have a large authority site with dozens or even hundreds of pages, then keeping them categorized/organized would be easier.
3. The ability to easily extend functionality via plugins without coding.
4. Easier integration with social network sites.
5. A little easier to implement automatic backups (assuming you do your own backups).
6. Much faster to change the look and feel via themes.
7. For someone who's not an html coder, integrating audio and video would be much easier.
8. Easier to touch all the SEO bases when generating content
9. More flexibility, i.e. easier to incorporate different layouts - per post/page/category
10. Built-in ping service
11. Built-in rss feed
Major advantages for static html would be:
1. Big speed advantage as long as you're not connecting to a database.
2. Will consume less server resources if a database is not required
3. Would require less maintenance for sites that need few updates.
4. It can be more secure due to a smaller attack surface.
I've always heard that Google loves WordPress but I've never seen any hard evidence that it's preferred over html. So pick the right tool for the job as both have their place in your site building toolbox.
WordPress Landing Page/Membership: Premise
WordPress Security: Sucuri Security