Trump Halts Funding To WHO Pending Investigation Into Coronavirus Handling

(AmericanPoliticalDaily.Com)- President Donald Trump made good on his threats on Tuesday by announcing the United States would stop funding to the World Health Organization.
The president said the funding would stop while the U.S. investigates the WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
“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,” Trump said at a White House briefing Tuesday.
The WHO is an agency founded by the United Nations in 1948, and its role is to coordinate international health policy with a focus on infectious disease. It’s made up of 194 member states, and each has a delegate who serves on the World Health Assembly, which makes decisions and policies.
Some of its successes in the past include eradicating smallpox, reducing polio cases to almost none and being on the front-line battling other outbreaks such as Ebola.
But the organization has received criticism recently, most prominently from Trump, for dropping the ball during the coronavirus pandemic. Even the secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Gutterres, admitted there would be “lessons learned” for future virus outbreaks.
In a statement, he said:
“Once we have finally turned the page on this epidemic, there must be a time to look back fully to understand how such a disease emerged and spread its devastation so quickly across the globe, and how all those involved reacted to the crisis. But now is not that time … it is also not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.”
The WHO gets its funding from the UN, member states, international organizations and private donors. While each member state must pay dues to be part of the organization — relative to the country’s wealth and population — that’s only about one-fourth of the funding. The rest comes from voluntary contributions, of which the U.S. is the largest donor by far.
From 2018 to 2019, the U.S. gave a total of $893 million to the WHO, $656 million of which was voluntary donations. The next closest country is the UK at $434.8 million. China contributed almost $86 million.
Trump has claimed that the WHO has played favorites to China recently, aligning itself with the country as it gains wealth and power. The president said the WHO made a “dangerous and costly” decision to oppose travel restrictions from China early on, saying had the organization acted properly, he would have instituted a ban on people from China coming to the U.S. sooner.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained his thoughts on the situation later on Tuesday, saying in an interview:
“The World Health Organization in its history has done some good work. Unfortunately, here it didn’t hit the top of its game, and we need to make sure that we push through efforts to fundamentally change that or make a different decision that says we’re going to do our part to make sure that these important world health obligations, things that frankly keep Americans safe, too, actually function.”