US President Donald Trump announced he was planning to suspend aid to WHO while revising the organization’s role in dealing with the disease.
President Trump said on Wednesday that the United States would revisit the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in “managing failure and masking the spread of the coronavirus”.
“WHO has failed to fulfill its basic obligations and responsible,” the Wall Street Journal quoted Mr. Trump at White House press conference. “There are many deaths by their faults”.
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The announcement came as Mr. Trump continued to be angry when criticized for his actions in response to pandemic. Mr. Trump is trying to regain his reputation after these mistakes.
As of April 14, the US recorded at least 594,207 cases of Covid-19 with more than 25,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States is currently the country with the highest number of infections and deaths in the world.
A senior official in the US administration said that the cessation of funding would take effect immediately. He said the US provided $ 453 million to WHO in fiscal 2019 and the government will discuss transferring funds for WHO to other health organizations.
The United States grants US $ 400-500 million to WHO each year while China contributes around US $ 40 million . However, WHO “focuses more on China”.
“Everyone knows what is going on there,” Trump blamed WHO for “a disastrous decision to oppose restrictions on movement from China and other countries”.
Trump has repeatedly made the decision to impose restrictions on travel to China as evidence that he responded early to warnings about the dangers of Covid-19.
At a press conference on April 14, he said that decision had saved “thousands of lives” and said that WHO was “against us”. He also blamed WHO for a worldwide “20-fold increase” in infections.
“If WHO does what they need to do – bring medical experts into China to objectively review the situation in the field, pointing to China’s lack of transparency, the disease can be controlled at source.” and very few people died, “the US president accused.
Weeks of controversy
The decision to withdraw WHO funding comes after weeks of back and forth debate between the US, China and WHO over whether the organization is late in controlling diseases or is heavily influenced by China.
However, CNN noted that before the Covid-19 epidemic broke out, Mr. Trump repeatedly doubted international institutions, he questioned the US pouring money into the United Nations. The president also withdrew the country from the Paris agreement on climate change or criticized the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“WHO has done a good job in history. Unfortunately, they are not doing their best at the moment, and we need to make sure that we are working hard to fundamentally change this, or that we will do its part to make sure that the world’s important medical obligations actually work, “US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent interview.
Besides President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo also criticized China for covering up the disease, wasting an important initial period to control the epidemic, and spreading the disease to the United States.
Meanwhile, WHO frequently praises the Chinese government’s anti-epidemic efforts. WHO has rejected the US allegations and called for “politicization” of the disease.
“Please don’t politicize this disease. It takes advantage of the disagreements you have at the national level. If you want to be taken advantage of, and if you want more body bags, then just do it, “WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus responded.
Beijing has defended the WHO after the criticisms, saying the WHO led by Mr. Tedros has “actively carried out its duties and maintained an objective position, based on science and impartiality”. , Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
On January 12, the WHO said that there was no clear indication that the virus was spreading between people, which China also confirmed at the time. Until January 20, China publicly acknowledged the new strain of coronavirus capable of spreading from person to person.
Meanwhile, Taiwan recently said it had sent a warning about the virus being able to spread from person to person to the WHO since late December 2019, but did not receive a response. Taiwan also said that it did not receive sufficient information to fight the epidemic from WHO, because it was not a member due to pressure from China.
WHO later rejected the Taiwan statement, confirming the email did not address human-to-human transmission.
On January 24, President Trump wrote on Twitter that “China is doing very well to control the virus. The United States deeply appreciates their efforts and transparency.”
According to the Wall Street Journal , the US pays for 20% of the WHO budget, with grants passing through multiple agencies.
In recent years, the organization has received money from the State Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Agency for International Development. A large part of this is used to combat polio and improve health and nutrition in Africa, according to WHO.
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