U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with governors and members of Congress at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, April 15 (MENA) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his administration will halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) pending a review of the global body for what he described as its mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak, The Hill paper reported.
Trump said at a White House briefing that the United States would suspend funding to the organization while officials conduct a review “to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
The president criticized the WHO for opposing large-scale travel restrictions and accused it of failing to quickly vet and share accurate information on COVID-19.
“The WHO’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above life-saving measures,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion.”
Tuesday’s announcement immediately triggered backlash from the health community. The American Medical Association (AMA) swiftly issued a statement calling the move a “dangerous step in the wrong direction” and urging Trump to reconsider.
“Fighting a global pandemic requires international cooperation and reliance on science and data. Cutting funding to the WHO – rather than focusing on solutions – is a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world,” the AMA said.
Trump said the review would last between 60 and 90 days and insisted his administration would spend the money to otherwise help combat the virus, though he didn’t go into specifics.
“We will be able to take that money and channel it to the areas most needed,” Trump said. “We have not been treated properly.”
Trump accused the WHO of treating the US unfairly, repeatedly pointing to the disparity in funding the organization receives from the US versus China. The US is the largest contributor to the global organization.