Coronavirus: Trump gives WHO ultimatum over Covid-19 handling – BBC News
The President of the United States threatened to permanently stop funding the World Health Organization and interrupt any cooperation if it does not commit to improving the situation with the pandemic within 30 days.
Donald Trump already suspended US contributions to WHO last month, accusing the organization in promoting Chinese «misinformation» about a new outbreak of coronavirus, although officials of the organization and Beijing deny these allegations.
«If WHO is unable to make significant progress in the coronavirus situation in the next 30 days, I will order the funding to be terminated and re-evaluate the US membership in the organization.», – wrote Trump on twitter.
He has previously reproached WHO for its results in the fight against the pandemic..
Trump noted that the only right way for WHO is to demonstrate independence from China, adding that his administration has begun to discuss ways to exit the project..
Trump also has a number of complaints about China. In particular, the president believes that Beijing tried to hide evidence that the virus can be transmitted between people, put pressure on WHO so as not to declare the situation an emergency, refused to share data regarding Covid-19 and denied access to its scientists and laboratories.
China, in turn, called Trump’s statements slander.
«An open letter from the US leadership seeks to mislead the public to tarnish China’s efforts to prevent the epidemic and hold Beijing responsible for its own incompetence in fighting the virus», – said the Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at the regular briefing.
Zhao also said that the US decision to end cooperation with WHO would violate its international obligations..
Geneva-based WHO, a UN specialized agency, spearheads a global initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and drugs to prevent, diagnose and treat Covid-19, a disease caused by the virus.
To date, more than 4.75 million people have been infected worldwide.
The United States allocated more than $ 400 million to WHO in 2019, which is 15% of the organization’s total budget.
The United States has already transferred about $ 58 million this year..
The United States has traditionally committed several hundred million dollars a year to voluntary funding for WHO targeted programs such as polio eradication, vaccine preventable diseases, HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and maternal and child health..