Threatening to cut US funding to the World Health Organisation, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused the organisation of showing bias toward China during the coronavirus pandemic.
US President Donald Trump sharply criticized the World Health Organisation on Tuesday, accusing it of being too focused on China and issuing bad advice during the new coronavirus outbreak and saying he would put a hold on US funding for the agency.
Addressing the reporters during a press conference, Donald Trump continued his attack on the World Health Organisation, said, “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. It’s a great thing if it works. But when they call every shot wrong, that’s no good”.
President Trump also warned the organisation that his administration will be looking into the US funding to the WHO. The Geneva-headquartered World Health Organisation receives a significant sum of money from the United States as aid.
“We pay for a majority or the biggest portion of their money. They actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it. They were wrong. They’ve been wrong about a lot of things. They had a lot of information early and they didn’t want to – they’re very – they seem to be very China-centric,” Trump charged during his news conference on Tuesday.
Reportedly, Trump said reporters that he was “going to put a very powerful hold on” funding to WHO. However, he did not give any details about how much money would be withheld. “We will look at ending funding,” he added.
Both China and WHO faces severe criticism not only from Washington but also from various other countries, over the way it handled the pandemic.
Earlier, Trump had triggered a diplomatic war with China by repeatedly referring the Novel Coronavirus as Chinese Virus. Several leaders in the United States have been highly critical of both China and WHO of their handling of the situation, accusing them of hiding vital information and underplaying the crisis at the beginning. US President Trump had also expressed doubt over the accuracy of Chinese statistics for cases and deaths.
On the other hand, the WHO and its director Ghebreyesus has come under severe criticism for their comments on the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, when it was already creating havoc in Wuhan in China. The organisation took long time in declaring a pandemic, leading to countries not being vigilant enough on time.
In January, WHO had endorsed the conclusion of Chinese authorities that the Novel Coronavirus does not spread from person to person, and had said that it does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers to and from Wuhan.
WHO also ignored Taiwan which had informed that it has evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus. Taiwan wrote to WHO on December 31 regarding this, but WHO was denying human-to-human transmission till mid-January. It may be noted that Taiwan has been denied membership of WHO due to objections of China, which considers the island nation as its territory.