Trump: W.H.O ($ 500 Million) Funding Stop

US President Donald Trump announced on April 14 that he is halting funding to the World Health Organization.

Trump said that a review will be conducted to determine the WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus”. The funding will be on hold for 60 to 90 days while the review is being conducted. According to Trump, the US gives the WHO $400 to 500 million every year, while China funds only around $40 million.

He said that had “the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death”. The US currently has the world’s highest number of COVID-19 deaths.

Trump has repeatedly defended the way he dealt with the coronavirus outbreak in the US, choosing to cast blame on the WHO for opposing travel restrictions from China. He said that, if the WHO had not opposed him, he could have placed a ban on people traveling from China earlier.

However, CNN reports that before Trump issued a travel ban on people coming from China, he tweeted on January 24 that “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus”.

He spoke on behalf of the US to say that the country “greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also previously spoke against the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He acknowledged that the WHO “in its history has done some good work,” but “here it didn’t hit the top of its game”.

According to Pompeo, the US has to “push through efforts to fundamentally change that or make a different decision that says we’re going to do our part to make sure that these important world health obligations actually function”. The US has reportedly been the largest supporter of the WHO since 1948.

The Guardian reports that the secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, criticized Trump’s decision to halt funding, especially during a global pandemic. He said that “now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences”.

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