AGENCIES, Washington: Is the future of the World Health Organisation (WHO) it at stake? Will it run out of steam it the supply line is compromised by its biggest donor? The question has arisen after President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to cut US funding to the WHO, accusing it of bias toward China during the coronavirus pandemic.
During media briefing Trump said he was “going to put a very powerful hold on” funding to WHO, the UN body whose biggest funding source is the United States.
“We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO,” said Trump. At the same press conference he said: “I’m not saying I’m going to do it. We will look at ending funding”.
According to Trump’s observations, the WHO “seems to be very biased toward China. That’s not right.” He also criticised the organization as being “very China-centric” for denouncing his Jan. 31 travel ban, which saw foreign nationals who had travelled to China within the last 14 days barred from entering the US.
However, Trump himself has been widely criticised for initially downplaying the virus, which he likened to an ordinary flu and said was under control in the United States, before later accepting that it was a national emergency.
In February, the Trump administration’s budget proposal also sought to halve the amount of funding it provided the WHO from roughly $122 million to $57.9 million.
More than 12,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19.
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020