Update (1810ET): After tweeting his criticism of the WHO earlier, President Trump brought up the NGO giant again during Tuesday night’s briefing, reiterating that there is a plan in place to withhold some American financing for the organization.
The US is one of the WHO’s biggest backers, along with China.
President Trump said Tuesday night that “we’re going to put a hold on money spent on the WHO.”
He added that “they missed the call” on the coronavirus pandemic.
Journalists swiftly whipped out some memos from January that the WHO issued warning about the potential devastation to be caused by the novel coronavirus, memos published at a time that Trump was still playing down the crisis.
Of course, these ‘impartial reporters’ are ignoring the many criticisms and legitimate questions that have been raised about the WHOs motivations and objectives, along with the many mistakes it has been accused of making during the early weeks of the global response.
Remember when the WHO dragged its feet on labeling the novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, before doing the exact same thing before finally admitting that the COVID-19 is officially a major pandemic with no precedents in the last 100 years. Most notoriously, it supported Beijing’s claims that travel restrictions were ‘racist’, and claimed they were unnecessary during the early weeks of the outbreak.
Here’s a reminder of who holds the purse strings…maybe Dr. Tedros can give it a look:
For many years, the assessed contribution for the US has been set at 22% of all member state assessed contributions, the maximum allowed rate. Over the last eight years, the US voluntary contributions have ranged from a low of $102 million in 2014 to a high of $401 million in 2017.
Later, during the Q&A, Trump slammed the WHO again for criticizing his decision to stop arrivals from China, which Trump said will help save “hundreds of thousands of lives” which might be just a slight exaggeration.
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In what was by far his harshest criticism of the international agency to date, President Trump slammed the WHO in a tweet, accusing it of doing the bidding of China while taking the US’s money, and hinted that he would be giving American funding to the organization “a good look”, a statement that certainly won’t sit well with Trump’s critics, who will accuse the president of slashing funding to a vital public health institution in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic.
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, 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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
Though the WHO has been helpful in providing tests around the world, the agency has faced plenty of criticism for appearing to kowtow to Beijing and parrot its lies and propaganda.
Beijing also provides a solid chunk of the WHO’s funding, as the chart below shows:
Trump boasted that he did the right thing and ignored the WHO’s advice when he imposed his China travel ban, and as studies have shown in recent weeks, that was perhaps the best decision his administration made during the response so far.