Threatening to stop US funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), US President Donald Trump on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, strongly criticized the UN-based health organization that it was biased in sharing advice on the coronavirus outbreak and was more inclined to China.
The WHO officials defended that the organization has been relentlessly working on COVID-19 and sharing information regarding preventive measures with other necessary helps to all countries for fighting the virus pandemic.
Trump Attacked the WHO
On Tuesday, Trump exclaimed at a White House news briefing, “The WHO really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the US, yet very China-centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately, I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?” The president said, “They called it wrong. They really – they missed the call… And we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see.”
A fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close to Trump, reminded that same that no funding would be there for the WHO in the next Senate appropriations bill. Graham declared in an interview with Fox News Channel, “I’m in charge of the appropriations subcommittee. I’m not going to support funding the WHO under its current leadership. They’ve been deceptive, they’ve been slow and they’ve been Chinese apologists.”
On January 31, 2020, the WHO advised countries to keep borders open despite the virus outbreak from China intensified and quickly spreading across the countries.
Considering that each country must put their citizens’ safety as the first priority, the Trump administration announced restrictions on travel from China on the same day. Moreover, US conservatives have constantly attacked the WHO saying that the organization relied on wrong data supplied from China about the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric rejected Trump’s criticism of the WHO, which is led by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Dujarric told reporters, “For the Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres), it is clear that WHO, under the leadership of Dr. Tedros, has done tremendous work on COVID, in supporting countries with millions of pieces of equipment being shipped out, on helping countries with training, on providing global guidelines – WHO is showing the strength of the international health system.”
Dujarric added that the WHO had also recently performed “tremendous work” to successfully fight Ebola, an infectious and often fatal disease, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nevertheless, the WHO did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on Trump’s remarks.
Last week, Republican Senator Marco Rubio called for Tedros’ resignation, alleging “he allowed Beijing to use the WHO to mislead the global community.”
Meanwhile, Trump has attacked the US Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general for producing a “fake dossier” regarding the shortages of personal protective equipment in American hospitals to fight the coronavirus outbreak. However, Trump did not provide any explanation of the shortage of these supplies.
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