Levelling allegations against the World Health Organisation (WHO), US President Donald Trump said on Thursday (30 April) that it should be “ashamed” of itself, reports India Today.
He further alleged that the WHO acted as a PR agency for China.
Trump reportedly told a group of reporters at White House, "I think that the World Health Organisation should be ashamed of themselves because they are like the public relations agency for China."
Trump administration has suspended financial assistance to WHO and has launched a probe into the role of the WHO on coronavirus.
Intelligence agencies have also been tasked with determining if China and the WHO withheld information about the virus early on, unnamed officials told an American news channel on Wednesday, the BBC reported.
Trump further stated that US donates $500 million per year to WHO while China pays them $38 million a year. He added, “Whether it's a lot more, it doesn't matter. They shouldn't be making excuses when people make horrible mistakes, especially mistakes that are causing hundreds of thousands of people around the world to die."
He was asked by a reporter: "Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this virus?"
"Yes, I have. Yes, I have," said the president, without specifying.
Asked later to clarify his comment, he said: "I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that."
He also told reporters: "Whether they (China) made a mistake, or whether it started off as a mistake and then they made another one, or did somebody do something on purpose?
"I don't understand how traffic, how people weren't allowed into the rest of China, but they were allowed into the rest of the world. That's a bad, that's a hard question for them to answer."
A leading US media outlet reported on Thursday that senior White House officials have asked the US intelligence community to investigate whether the virus came from a Wuhan research laboratory.
(With IANS Inputs)
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