Friday, December 4, 2020
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Trump says no US funding to WHO if it doesn’t show independence from Chinese influence in next 30 days

"Your political gamesmanship on this issue was deadly, as other governments, relying on your comments, delayed imposing life-saving restrictions on travel to and from China," President Trump said.

United States President Donald Trump shared a letter the White House wrote to World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom stating that the organisation will not receive any funding from the US until and unless it shows independence from Chinese influence in next 30 days.

The the four-page letter, President Trump reminded that on April 14 he had suspended the funding to WHO pending investigation by his administration on WHO’s failed response to COVID-19 outbreak. President Trump said that the review carried out by his administration has confirmed that the WHO consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan as early as December 2019. He said that the WHO failed to independently investigate these reports.

He further states that the WHO office in Beijing new as early as December 30, 2019 that there is a ‘major public health concern’ in Wuhan. Between December 26 to December 30 Chinese media had highlighted evidence of new virus emerging from Wuhan. He also mentions Dr Zhang Jixian, a doctor from Hubei province who had flagged about the new virus that had by then infected over 180 people.

President Trump mentions how the next day Taiwan authorities had flagged the issue to WHO about the human-to-human transfer of the new virus. “Yet the World Health Organization chose not to share any of this critical information with the rest of the world, probably for political reasons,” he writes.

Further, President Trump lists out the inconsistencies in WHO reports on Chinese coronavirus and states that there were repeated claims and reports by the WHO that were either grossly inaccurate or misleading. He points out the 14th January 2020 assertion by WHO which, despite contrary evidences, asserted that there is no human-to-human transmission of coronavirus.

President Trump alleges that Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 21 pressurised WHO chief to not declare coronavirus outbreak as an emergency. Dr Tedros had later announced that there there is no public health emergency on the same. However, just a week later, looking at the overwhelming evidence, he had to change his stand. President Trump also accused Dr Tedros of praising the Chinese government of ‘transparency’ in respect of coronavirus despite the evidence pointing the other way. President Trump also called out Dr Tedros’ silence when two American members of the medical experts who were to China in February were not allowed access to Wuhan entirely.

“Your political gamesmanship on this issue was deadly, as other governments, relying on your comments, delayed imposing life-saving restrictions on travel to and from China,” President Trump said. The letter further mentioned how the WHO chief, citing official Chinese data, downplayed the serious risk of asymptomatic spread by telling the world that the “COVID-19 does not transmit as efficiently as influenza.” President Trump called out this now proven quite misleading assertion by the WHO chief. “It is now clear that China’s assertions, repeated to the world by the World Health Organization, were wildly accurate,” he said.

“The World Health Organisation has failed to publicly call on China to allow for an independent investigation into the origins of the virus, despite the recent endorsement for doing so by its own Emergency Committee,” he added.

In a strongly worded letter, the US President said that despite all these failings, what is worse is that the WHO could have done so much better. “The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China,” he said. President Trump then said that if the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within next 30 days, he will turn the temporary freeze on funding by the US to WHO into a permanent one and reconsider the US’ membership to the WHO. “I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance and organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interest,” he said.

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OpIndia Staff
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