President Donald Trump said he would permanently pull funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) if the organization did not commit to making improvements within the agency.
In April, Trump announced that he would temporarily suspend U.S. funds to WHO. Trump claimed that the organization pushed Chinese “disinformation” about coronavirus and did a “very sad job” handling the outbreak.
WHO has said those claims are untrue, but has not released a statement in response to Trump’s threat.
According to Reuters, in a letter to WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Trump said he would also consider removing America from WHO’s membership.
He added in the letter that China tried to hide evidence that the virus could be transmitted between people and refused to share its research and data to scientists.
“The World Health Organization consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal,” Trump said in the letter.
“Perhaps worse than all these failing is that we know that the World Health Organization could have done so much better,” he added.
China responded this week to the accusations.
“The U.S. leadership’s open letter is filled with phrases of suggestions, maybes, and potentialities, and is trying to mislead the public through this specious method, to achieve the goal of smearing and slandering China’s efforts in epidemic prevention and to shift responsibility in its own incompetence in handling the epidemic,” China’s ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.
In 2019, the U.S. contributed more than $400 million to WHO. This year, before Trump suspended funding, the U.S. contributed about $58 million to WHO.
Meanwhile, WHO is slated to begin an independent review of its coronavirus response. The organization says China has already earmarked funds for the agency.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.