United States (US) President Donald Trump on Tuesday (14 April) announced he was halting the funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as US reviews its alleged "role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus."
“Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organisation while a review is conducted to assess the WHO’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump said at a White House press conference, as reported by CNBC TV18.
While taking on the UN body, President Trump said opposing travel restrictions from China and other early-affected nations was “one of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO”.
“Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel from China saving untold numbers of lives,” he said.
Trump’s decision comes at a time when the US has emerged as the worst-hit nation from the global coronavirus pandemic. As of 14 April, the US has reported 613,886 positive cases, while 26,047 people have lost their lives.
Alleging the organisation of failing in assessing the crisis in time, he said, “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 has accused the WHO of being biased towards China in recent weeks, and recently attacked the organisation for being too "China-centric" in its tackling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US’ financial contributions to the WHO accounted for just under 15 per cent of its funding in 2019.
The US decided against using a coronavirus test approved by the WHO in January, in favour of a test being developed by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - but some of them did not work properly, and led to inconclusive results.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African head of the organisation, has been accused of being too cozy with China in the past.
"Many countries said they were going to listen to the WHO and they have problems now the likes of which they cannot believe," Trump said.
"The world received all sorts of false information about misinformation and mortality," he added.
If the WHO had gone to China to oversee the outbreak, mores lives would have been saved, he claims, adding that "their reliance on China''s disclosures... likely caused a 20-fold increase in cases worldwide and it may be much more than that."
"So much death has been caused by their mistakes," he said.
(With inputs from IANS)
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