President Trump suggested on Tuesday that he might consider cutting funding to the World Health Organization for handling the coronavirus crisis and its alleged role in helping China minimize the severity of the epidemic.
“WHO. really blown away. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, but very focused on China. We will give a good overview of this. Fortunately, I rejected their advice very early on on keeping our borders open to China. Why did they make such a wrong recommendation to us? He tweeted.
WHO is increasingly at the center of questions about its response to the coronavirus pandemic, including information it tweeted in January that cited “preliminary” findings from Chinese authorities that downplayed the severity of the virus. has since turned into a pandemic, ending daily life around the globe.
“WHO must explain to the world why it believed China. So much suffering has been caused by Chinese information mismanagement and lack of accountability, “said former UN ambassador Nikki Haley.
The United States is the main contributor to WHO. The most recent bill from WHO in the United States, which is one of the many countries that fund the organization, was nearly $ 116 million a year. The United States also voluntarily contributes an additional $ 100 million to $ 400 million a year to WHO for specific projects – contributions that totaled more than $ 400 million in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available.
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This means that the United States contributed more than $ 500 million in total to WHO that year, which is just under a quarter of the organization’s annual budget. WHO’s total budget for 2016 and 2017 combined was more than $ 4 billion.
With the United States as their main source of funding, lawmakers are increasingly questioning an organization they see as reflexively aligning with China – the United States. geopolitical rival.
Last month, a resolution presented to the House and the Senate called on the Director of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to withdraw what they called “very misleading statements of support for the government’s response to the People’s Republic of China “.
Tedros has become a big part of the critics of the legislators. The director analyzed responses to coronaviruses that “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade,” after Trump imposed a travel ban on China at the start of the crisis.
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He also tweeted China’s praise on March 20, saying ” [f]or the first time, #China did not report any # COVID19 domestic cases yesterday. This is an incredible achievement, which reassures us all that #coronavirus can be defeated. “
Senator Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Called on director to resign and WHO to “stop covering for [China.]
“I think Dr. Tedros should resign. We must take action to resolve this problem. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unreasonable what they did here while people were dying around the world, “she said on Fox Business Network’s” Mornings with Maria “.
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Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla., Also called for WHO accountability over its management of the coronavirus – calling for an investigation and hearing at WHO, questioning whether it deserved taxpayer dollars Americans.
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“With regard to the coronavirus, WHO has failed. They must be held accountable for their role in promoting disinformation and helping Communist China to cover a global pandemic, “said Scott last week. “We know that China is communist lying about the number of cases and deaths, what it knew and when it knew it – and the WHO has never bothered to investigate further. “
Tyler Olson of Fox News contributed to this report.