Trump Halts World Health Organization Funding

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(— April 15, 2020) — United States will no longer finance the World Health Organization, said President Donald Trump. He accused the health body of colluding with China in the cover-up of the number of infected and diseased from COVID-19 in this country, CNN reports.

The US president also accuses WHO of ‘failures’ in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the … organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump said at a White House briefing on Tuesday. He added that the US has a “duty to insist on full accountability” from the WHO.

The US president claims the WHO deliberately kept vital data undisclosed in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic which contributed to the uncontrolled spread of the disease. This could have been avoided if the WHO reacted timely and in a transparent manner, Trump said accusing the health body of fearing Beijing’s reaction.

The US is the WHO’s largest contributor funding the organization with up to $500 million each year, money Donald Trump fears has gone to waste. He announced that the US should halt funding the WHO last week accusing the organization of being “China-centric.” As a response to Trump’s announcement that the US will withdraw from funding the health body, WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged the US president not to “politicize the virus,” warning it would only result in “many more body bags.”

The WHO and Beijing deny any responsibility for withholding information and not reacting promptly. Chinese officials insisted that health authorities worked with the international community from the very beginning to understand and contain the outbreak in Wuhan.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said that the WHO and China indeed made some mistakes, however, Trump’s move to halt WHO’s funding is deflecting blame away from his own administration.

“Right now, there is a very coordinated effort amongst the White House and their allies to try to find scapegoats for the fatal mistakes that the President made during the early stages of this virus,” he said.

The move to halt WHO funding came just days after a major US ally, the United Kingdom, announced an additional £65 million contribution to the international health body.