President Donald Trump continued to quarrel with the World Health Organization, accusing him of initially minimizing the coronavirus epidemic and then taking sides with China in his response.
He also responded on Wednesday to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who previously accused Trump of politicizing the pandemic, a move he said would result in “many more body bags”.
“They said more body bags … He [Tedros] would have been much better to serve the people he is supposed to serve if they had given a correct analysis. Everything was centered on China: “Everything will be fine, not from man to man [transmission] Said Trump.
“He wanted me to keep the borders open. I closed the border despite myself, it was a difficult decision at the time. We made a decision against the World Health Organization. “
Trump noted that China is providing WHO with more than $ 40 million in funding, while the United States is providing well over $ 400 million.
“Yet everything seems to be the way of China. It’s not fair, it’s not fair to us, and honestly, it’s not fair to the world. I can’t believe he’s talking about politics, look at their relationship with China, ”added Trump.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the United States is reassessing its funding to WHO. “Organizations have to work. They must deliver the results for which they are intended, ”he said.
“Lots of body bags”
WHO chief Tedros said now is not the time for such threats, as more than 88,500 people have died worldwide with 1.5 million confirmed infections.
“The aim of all political parties should be to save their people. Please don’t politicize this virus, ” Tedros said at a press conference in Geneva, addressing politicians and world leaders.
“If you want to have a lot more body bags, then you do. If you don’t want a lot more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it … We will have many body bags in front of us if we don’t behave. “
Tedros noted on Thursday that China is celebrating its 100th anniversary since the organization’s first notification of “pneumonia of unknown cause” on December 31.
Tedros, a former Ethiopian foreign minister, also rejected Trump’s suggestion that WHO was “China-centric”, saying, “We are close to every nation, we are colorblind.”
WHO changes regime?
In comments to the White House task force daily briefing, Pompeo was cut short when asked to change the agency’s leadership, which US politicians have raised in recent days .
“Now is not the time to make this kind of change,” he said.
Pompeo said it was necessary to have “very good data” from all countries, including China, and for it to be “transparent … straight away” and allow information to “flow freely “
In New York, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said now is not the time to assess the global response to the pandemic, calling on the international community to focus on working together to stop the virus. .
The United Nations Security Council will meet later Thursday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and the response.
Tedros said China and the United States should follow the example of the former Soviet Union and the United States, which launched a 10-year global campaign in 1967 that eradicated smallpox, a disease that then kills two million people each year.