The Donald Trump vs WHO saga continues. After following through his threats by announcing this Tuesday April 14th Trump was halting U.S funding of the World Health Organization while reviewing WHO’s role in the “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus” and repeating in May his threats against WHO to indefinitely halt American funding to the organization, Donald Trump delivers a new twist tonight.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, Donald Trump had been highly critical of WHO: “The WHO, that’s the World Health Organization, receives vast amounts of money from the United States. And we pay for a majority — biggest portion of their money. And they actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it. And they were wrong. They’ve been wrong about a lot of things. And they had a lot of information early and they didn’t want to — they’re very — they seem to be very China-centric. And we have to look into that. So we’re going to look into it.” He said. "If the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization".
This Friday May 29 evening, Donald Trump announced to stop relationships between the United States and the World Health Organization he has been accusing of being to indulgent towards Beinjing since the pandemic has broken out.
"Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs" he said tonight.
By the way, Donald Trump has also announced the United States will stop Chinese from entering the American country as they are a "potential risk to the safety of the United States.
In May, Donald Trump has accompanied his threats with a letter to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director general; a letter in which he lists the mistakes - according to him - made by the WHO in the managing of the world health crisis: "It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world. The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China".
For the record, President Trump and his administration are highly criticized for their mismanaging of the coronavirus epidemic. These past 24 hours, the country recorded 2,200 new deaths, taking the number of deaths on American soil to 26,000, without forgetting the 600,000 people contaminated since the beginning of the epidemic. The heaviest toll in the world, far ahead of Italy, Spain and France.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Donald Trump has been suspecting deference between the WHO and the Chinese government and let everyone know it. He said: “Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China's lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death”.
By freezing the U.S. funding, 17% of the WHO’s budget is frozen; the United States being the first contributors to the World Health Organization. There’s nothing really surprising in this decision since the Trump administration planned, way before the world coronavirus pandemic, to divide in two the American contribution to WHO in 2021.
Trump's decision gets the world's and the United States' hackles up. UNO secretary-general Antonio Guterres righly considers that this wasn't the time to reduce the WHO's means. "Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences."
Same call in China and from the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian encouraging the United States "to earnestly fulfill their responsibilities and obligations, and support the WHO-led international action against the epidemic".
German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas wanted to recall "The virus knows no borders. We have to closely work together against COVID19. One of the best investments is to strengthen the UN, especially the under-funded WHO, for example for developing and distributing tests and vaccines."