DHARAMSALA, 15 April: The US President Donald Trump has announced that the US is freezing payments to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its failure in handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump reportedly said at a White House press conference.
The US president heavily criticised the WHO for failing in its basic duty in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic that he said “caused so much death” and for being China-centric.
“With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible. The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion,” Trump has said.
While Trump’s decision was received with heavy criticism, Taiwan has also accused the WHO of downplaying the severity and spread of the coronavirus in an attempt to pander to China.
Based on an email sent by Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention to WHO on 31 Dec 2020, the WHO has not just ignored Taiwan’s enquiry about the person-to-person spread of COVID-19, it has further denied providing adequate information about how to fight the virus.
“Through the middle of January, it parroted and publicly endorsed the idea that there was no human to human transmission happening, despite reports and clear evidence to the contrary,” Trump added.
The US is the biggest financial contributor to the WHO. Last year, the US reportedly contributed about $550 million – close to a tenth of the body’s total funding.