“Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the… organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus”.
Trump said at a White House briefing on Tuesday, adding that the US has a “duty to insist on full accountability” from the public health body.
The WHO failed to investigate credible reports from sources in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts.
Arguing the world health body “failed to obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion,” the president said the agency kept vital data under wraps in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic for fear of offending authorities in Beijing.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 14, 2020
Trump first floated the idea of halting the WHO’s funding last week, accusing the organization of being “China-centric” and vowing to place a “very powerful hold” on funds while the administration assessed its response to the crisis.
The US is the WHO’s top contributor, giving between $400 million and $500 million each year, but the president said there were now “deep concerns” that the money has gone to waste.
Chinese officials have also repeatedly denied accusations of a “cover up,” insisting health authorities worked with the international community from the very beginning to understand and contain the outbreak in Wuhan.
Addressing President Trump’s previous threat to pull the WHO’s funding, Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged him not to “politicize the virus,” warning it would only result in “many more body bags.”
RT with additional input from GVS News Desk.