WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump harshly criticized the World Health Organization on Tuesday, accusing it of being too dependent on China and providing poor advice amid the latest coronavirus outbreak, saying it would place a cap on the agency’s U.S. funding.
“The W.H.O. really blew it,” Trump said in a Twitter post. “For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”
At a White House news conference later on Tuesday, Trump repeated the allegations against the UN health organisation.
“They called it wrong. They really – they missed the call,” the president said. “And we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see.”
Trump also accused the inspector general of the US Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday of creating a “fake report” on American hospitals suffering from personal protective equipment shortages on the frontlines of coronavirus outbreak. Trump has given no reason to doubt the study about such shortages.
On January 31, following the outbreak, the WHO urged countries to keep borders open, although it acknowledged that countries were allowed to take steps to try and protect their people. The same day Trump’s administration declared travel restrictions from China.
During the global pandemic, US conservatives have increasingly blamed the WHO for relying on China’s unreliable data on coronavirus outbreaks.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio last week called for Tedros’ resignation, saying “he allowed Beijing to use the WHO to deceive the global community.”