President Trump has halted US funding of the World Health Organisation, accusing the agency of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the initial outbreak of coronavirus in China.
The president said that the UN agency “willingly took China’s assurances at face value” about the transmission of the virus and “pushed China’s misinformation.”
He added: “So much death has been caused by their mistakes... The outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death and certainly very little death by comparison. This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage.”
The president said that the world had “chosen to rely on the WHO for accurate, timely and independent information to make important public health recommendations and decisions. If we cannot trust that this is what we will receive from the WHO, our country will be forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals.”
The announcement in the rose garden of the White House did not come as a total surprise. Last week the president said that the WHO “really blew it” and is “very China-centric”, but quickly walked back a suggestion that he was going to “put a very powerful hold” on their funding.