DONALD Trump announced last night that he was temporarily suspending $ 500 million (£ 396 million) in funding from the World Health Organization for its “disastrous” management of the coronavirus crisis.
The US president said that WHO had “failed in its basic duty and should be held responsible” for promoting China’s “disinformation” about the pandemic.
He said the mistake had led to a larger epidemic of the virus, which has now spread to dozens of countries around the world.
Speaking at the White House, Trump said: “Today I order my administration to suspend funding for the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the role of the organization. health authority in the serious mismanagement of the spread of the coronavirus. “
He also confirmed that the United States “will redirect global health and work directly with others.”
He said: “If WHO had done its job to bring medical experts to China, to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call attention to China’s lack of transparency, the epidemic could have been contained at its source with very few deaths, very few deaths and certainly very few deaths in comparison.
“It would have saved thousands of lives and averted global economic damage. Instead, the WHO voluntarily took China’s insurance at face value, and took it at face value, and defended the actions of the Chinese government – even praising China. “
The president said that WHO gave priority to “politically correct rescue measures” and criticized their “disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions” which he imposed on the communist country in January.
But the American leader added that he would continue to collaborate with the WHO in pursuit of significant reforms.
Trump’s announcement comes amid the worst global pandemic in decades – as he angrily defends his own treatment for the epidemic in the United States.
He had previously criticized the WHO as “China-centric” in an effort to deflect blame for the shortcomings of his administration.
He highlighted the disparities in funding between the two countries – both of which fund WHO.
The president said that American taxpayers pay about 400 to 500 million dollars a year, China pays a tenth, or about 40 million dollars a year.
Trump said, “WHO has failed to fulfill this basic duty and must be held accountable. She did not investigate credible information from sources in Wuhan. “
“WHO has pushed China to misinform about the virus by saying that it is not transmissible and that there is no need to ban travel. “
Trump added that the world organization had not examined credible reports of human-to-human transmission.
The president said the delay in declaring a public health emergency was costly for the United States and the world.
He said that if WHO had acted in a timely manner, the virus “could have been contained at its source” after it first appeared in China.
In his speech at Rose Garden, Trump said that “global economic damage” could have been avoided if the organization had not taken “China’s insurance at face value”.
However, several days before Trump announced the partial travel ban, he went on Twitter to praise China.
The president wrote, “China has worked very hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and their transparency. “
And on January 24, he posted, “Everything will be fine. In particular, on behalf of the American people, I want to thank President Xi! “
Yesterday, he was asked if he was a hypocrite, his response was, “I am still respectful of China.”
But then he talked about the amount of money he thought he had brought in because of the trade war.
Trump blamed WHO for fatal delay in press briefing yesterday
Leading health experts have criticized the president’s decision to cut funding, calling it a “damnable” act that will cost lives.
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of Lancet Medical, wrote that cutting funding for the WHO was a “crime against humanity.” Every scientist, every health worker, every citizen must resist and rebel against this appalling betrayal of global solidarity. ”
Outraged, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote to Twitter, writing, “Stopping funding for the World Health Organization during a global health crisis is as dangerous as it seems. Their work slows the spread of Covid-19 and if that work is stopped, no other organization can replace it. The world needs WHO more than ever. “
WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern on January 30 – but the coronavirus was not declared a pandemic until March 11.
However, it has been reported that the deadly virus first appeared in Wuhan, China before Christmas, however.
Last week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended his actions and urged the president not to politicize the situation.
A petition calling for his “immediate resignation” for underestimating the virus has collected nearly a million signatures.
Every scientist, every health worker, every citizen must resist and rebel against this appalling betrayal of global solidarity.
Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet medical journal
Others blamed the WHO for failing to act when China silenced whistleblowers in Wuhan.
“Please do not politicize this virus,” Ghebreyesus said at a press conference in Switzerland. “It exploits the differences you have at the national level.
“If you no longer want body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it. “
He added: “All the help we send will be discussed … with very powerful, influential and intelligent groups, medically, politically and in any other way,” he said.
“And we will discuss with other countries and global health partners what we are doing with all this money that goes to WHO … And maybe WHO will reform and maybe not. “
After lambasting the WHO, Trump has revealed that every state governor will be condemned to adhere to his “mighty new reopening plan.”
He said 29 states were in “very, very good shape” and that some could even reopen before May 1.
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The media also came under fire during Tuesday’s COVID briefing, which was delayed more than an hour.
Trump labeled a reporter a “show boat” and a “big mouth” on the podium, telling another to “shut up” or he would leave after the explosion on Monday.
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