Trump threatens to indefinitely suspend WHO contributions
Tuesday, 19 May 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to suspend indefinitely the United States’ funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The United States temporarily suspended its funding to the WHO in April, accusing the organisation of being too close with China and of mishandling the pandemic.
“If the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organisation permanent and reconsider our membership in the organisation,” Trump wrote in a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, which he posted to Twitter.
In the letter, Trump lists examples of what he sees as mistakes by the WHO in its handling of the pandemic, including ignoring early reports of the emergence of the coronavirus and being too close and lenient with China.
“It is clear that the repeated missteps by you and your organisation in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world,” Trump wrote. “The only way forward for the World Health Organisation is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, at the organisation’s world assembly, Dr. Tedros restated that the WHO had sounded the alarm quickly and often, and that independent investigations into the WHO’s response to the pandemic would be launched as soon as possible.