US threat to freeze WHO funds

US threat to freeze WHO funds

Agency News

The US President, Mr. Donald Trump, has fired a fresh salvo at the World Health Organization, accusing its chief of siding with China and 'politicising' the coronavirus pandemic while repeating his threat to freeze the UN agency's funding.

Mr. Trump's allegation comes a day after the US President threatened to put a 'very powerful' hold on US' funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) and criticised it for having 'missed the call'" in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

M. Trump slammed the Geneva-based health agency for its early guidance aimed at countering the international spread of the coronavirus His fresh allegation comes after WHO Director-General , Mr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, cautioned against politicisation of COVID-19 and said that such a move will only result in 'many more body bags'.

'If you want to be exploited and if you want to have many more body bags, then you [politicize the virus]. If you don't want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it,' Mr. Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

Hours later at the White House conference, Mr. Trump agreed that the COVID-19 should not be politicised, but alleged that the WHO chief was doing exactly that and was siding with China.

'When he (Ghebreyesus) says politicizing, he's politicizing. That shouldn't be. We spent USD 450 million last year, hundreds of millions in previous years. And they got to do better than that. They got to do better. When you talk about politics, I can't believe he's talking about politics look at the relationship they have to China,' Mr. Trump said.

'China spends USD 42 million. We spend USD 450 million and everything seems to be China's way. That's not right. It's not fair to us. And honestly, it's not fair to the world,' he said.

The US is reevaluating its funding with respect to the WHO, the Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo, told reporters. 'This is very consistent with what President Trump said since the beginning of his campaign.

Organizations have to work,' he added. 'They have to deliver the outcomes for which they were intended and we need to make sure that only the WHO but every international organization that we take taxpayer money and give it to them for the benefit of America we need to make sure it is delivering on this taxpayer dollars.

The WHO is no different in that respect,' the top American diplomat said.

Mr. Trump asserted that the WHO had to get its priority right. 'I think they have to get their priorities right and their priorities are that everybody has to be treated properly every country.'