Trump halts funding to "China centric" WHO amid global pandemic

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the globe, US President Donald Trump has announced a halt on funding to the World Health Organization because China.

At a White House press conference on Tuesday, Trump accused the WHO of severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus, declaring that he has the duty to insist on full accountability and ensure that Americas generosity is being put to the best use possible.
The US is the WHOs biggest single donor, contributing more than $400 million in 2019.

Trump condemned the WHO for criticizing his own travel restrictions against China, saying that the organization put political correctness above life-saving measures while also failing to go to Wuhan to analyze the Covid-19 outbreak for themselves.
Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out Chinas lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death, he told reporters.
This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage. Instead, the WHO willingly took Chinas assurances to face value and defended the actions of the Chinese government, even praising China for its so-called transparency.'
Of course, at the same time that the WHO was praising Chinas transparency, Trump was literally doing the same exact thing.
In a January 24 tweet, Trump wrote that China had been working very hard to contain the coronavirus and that the US greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency.

When this hypocrisy was pointed out to him at the presser, Trump got angry and defensive.
I dont talk about Chinas transparency, he replied. Well, you know, if Im so good to China, how come I was the only person, the only leader of a country, that closed our borders tightly against China?

In actuality, Trump was far from the only world leader to place travel restrictions on China, dozens of other countries did the same at around the same time or before.
Meanwhile, saying that he closed US borders tightly against China is also false. The travel restrictions did not apply to US citizens, green-card holders, and their non-citizen relatives and could be easily circumvented by going through different countries.
The New York Times estimates that between the restrictions going into place and early April, nearly 40,000 travelers arrived in the US on direct flights from China.

Is now really a good time?

Considering that the coronavirus pandemic is still killing thousands of people across the globe, many have wondered if now is really the best time to defund the worlds principal public health agency which is overseeing, funding, and advising upon efforts to combat the virus across the planet.
One of Trumps critics is UN Secretary General Antnio Guterres who said that the international community should be uniting in solidarity to stop this virus after hearing about the move from the White House.
It is my belief that the World Health Organization must be supported, as it is absolutely critical to the worlds efforts to win the war against Covid-19, he said.
When asked about the timing of his order at the White House press conference, Trump failed to actually answer the question, claiming that the US would be able to take the money originally intended for the WHO and channel it to the areas that most need it without providing any specifics.
Trump says that the US review of the China-centric WHO will last 60 to 90 days and be very thorough.

WHOs fault?

While most would agree that Trump has gone too far and is acting out of petulance and deflection rather than reason, it is worth noting that the WHO undoubtedly screwed up when it comes to this pandemic.
In a couple of tweets that certainly did not age well from back in mid-January, the WHO wrote that Chinese authorities had found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus and recommended against any travel restrictions for people from Wuhan.

The organization only managed to get observers and experts into China on February 10.
It then took until March 11 for them to finally declare the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. By that time, more than 118,000 cases had been reported and over 4,000 had died.
Now, those numbers are up to 2 million cases and 127,000 deaths.



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