Trump threatens to cut off World Health Organization funding permanently

Trump threatens to cut off World Health Organization funding permanently

Trump threatens to cut off World Health Organization funding permanently

"The US funds $400 million to $500 million to the World Health Organization each year", Trump said at the time, noting that China "contributes roughly $40 million".

The move comes amid Australia's call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the pandemic and the WHO's response to it.

"We must be frank about one of the primary reasons this outbreak spun out of control: there was a failure by this organisation to obtain the information that the world needed, and that failure cost many lives", Azar said in a video address to the WHO's main annual meeting.

The "comprehensive evaluation", sought by a coalition of African, European and other countries, is meant to review "lessons learned" from WHO's co-ordination of the global response to COVID-19, but would stop short of looking into contentious issues such as the origins of the new coronavirus.

"China will provide $2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries", Xi said at a virtual session for the 73rd World Health Assembly.

However, speaking by video-link, a wide range of country leaders and health ministers hailed the WHO's efforts to coordinate the response, and urged more funding and stronger support for the United Nations agency.

When it declared a global emergency on January 30, there were fewer than 100 cases outside China, and no deaths, he said.

If the World Health Organization does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding ... permanent and reconsider our membership.

The President disclosed this in a Four-page letter to the WHO Chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, titled "repeated missteps" which he shared on Twitter on Tuesday. He received robust backing from the WHO's independent oversight panel.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has tested, strengthened and strained the bonds of fellowship between nations, but it has not broken them", Tedros said.

Pledging $2 billion over the next two years in the fight against the deadly infection, Xi insisted World Health Organization should "lead the global response".

Trump said he chose not to address the WHO's annual meeting on Monday, held virtually this year, although Chinese President Xi Jinping had done so.

Xi also said China would work with the United Nations to set up a "global humanitarian response depot" in China and facilitate the worldwide movement of medical supplies.

The U.S. accounted for roughly 20 percent of the WHO's total budget in the past two years, significantly more than other countries.

In Washington on Tuesday (NZ time), Trump faulted World Health Organization for having done "a very sad job" and said he was considering whether to cut the annual USA funding from $450 million a year to $40 million.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly via video link in Beijing, capital of China, May 18, 2020.

Most scientists believe the virus originated in animals before it was passed on to humans. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this month there is "a significant amount of evidence" the virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, a charge China rejects.

Xi also said that the work "needs a scientific and professional attitude" and needs to be WHO-led.

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