US President Donald Trump threatens to permanently pull funding from WHO

WION Web Team NEW DELHI May 19, 2020, 09.40 AM(IST)

File photo: US President Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

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Trump also said that even after declaring Covid-19 outbreak, the WHO failed to press China for the timely admittance of a team of international medical experts.

US President Donald Trump threatened to permanently halt US funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) if the body does not commit to "major substantive improvements" in the next 30 days.

Also read: World Health Organisation a 'puppet of China', Trump says as he mulls slashing US funding

In a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Trump said, "It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world. The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can demonstrate independence from China."

Also read: Will initiate independent evaluation at earliest appropriate moment — WHO chief on coronavirus pandemic

"My administration has already started discussions with you on how to reform the organization. But action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste."

Trump also said that even after declaring Covid-19 outbreak, the WHO failed to press China for the timely admittance of a team of international medical experts.

The letter on official White House letterhead, screenshots of which were posted to Twitter, comes after Trump temporarily halted funding to the organization last month.

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He further said that the WHO knew about a major public health concern in Wuhan by December 30, 2019, which was also communicated by Taiwanese authorities. “But the WHO chose not to share any of this critical information with the rest of the world, probably for political reasons.”

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

(With inputs from agencies)