President Donald Trump warned that US may permanently cut off its funding for WHO, according to his Tweet on Monday. He also presented his condition regarding the issue.
Trump shared a letter dated Monday on Twitter. According to the president, if WHO or 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 to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization.”
In April, Trump suspended US. funding for the WHO as the government held an investigation into the agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the time, the agency stressed: “We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding.”
However, there is no clear explanation as to how Trump would proceed with the withdrawal of funds, much of which are appropriated by Congress.
The president usually has no power to unilaterally redirect congressional funding.
Criticism against Trump
Trump disclosed the latest threat as his administration tries to address criticism for how it has managed the outbreak.
Data from Johns Hopkins University showed that the US is the worst hit country. It recorded more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 90,000 deaths.
The letter shows Trump’s conclusion that the review “confirmed many of the serious concerns I raised last month.” The letter also covers what the White House deemed as “repeated missteps” by the organization and its director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The document shared by Trump on Twitter backs his previous sentiment regarding WHO. He insists that the WHO was not in favor of issuing a travel advisory in the initial stage of the coronavirus outbreak.
Tedros told countries they must not implement “measures that unnecessarily interfere with international trade or travel.”
Trump’s letter mentions the scrutiny over how the WHO managed the information from China. The president said that the international organization is “China centric.”
“The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China … I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests,” the letter said.
Critics expressed disapproval of Trump’s fallacious statements about the coronavirus, its treatment, and coronavirus vaccine candidates.
Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen in January that he believes in the coronavirus data coming from China. In the next month, Trump said the coronavirus was the Democrats’ “new hoax” which aims to discredit him and his administration..
Trump has constantly expressed support for the the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a “game-changer” in responding to COVID-19. However, the patient taking the drug may experience side effects. Meanwhile, authorities stopped a study for safety reasons after coronavirus patients had arrhythmia from taking chloroquine.
Moreover, Trump said on Monday that he had been using hydroxychloroquine for over a week to keep him from contracting the coronavirus. The drug is not yet an officially proven treatment.
According to a memo from White House physician Dr. Sean Conley, “the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.” The statement came after a member of Trump’s staff tested positive for coronavirus.