Coronavirus: Donald Trump Writes Stinging Letter To WHO Chief, Warns Of Permanent Funding Freeze
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump, in a scathing letter to the Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO), gave the international health body 30 days to get its act together on the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump, in a scathing letter to the Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO), gave the international health body 30 days to get its act together on the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic. In his letter, which he posted on his Twitter account, President Trump listed the missteps taken by WHO and gave a deadline to the organisation failing which he threatened to turn his temporary freeze of US funding to it, permanent. President Trump, in his post, described the letter as "self-explanatory."
President Trump also said that if "major substantive improvements" do not take place within the next 30 days the US would have to reconsider its membership in WHO. The US President's letter slams the WHO's "alarming lack of independence from the People's Republic of China."
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! pic.twitter.com/pF2kzPUpDv— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
President Trump's letter marks a new phase in the tension which has been brewing between WHO and the United States with regard to the UN body's handling of the COVID-19 crisis. President Trump has said that he had already initiated discussions with Dr Tedros on how to reform WHO and that "there is no time to waste." The US President, in the past, had criticised WHO on several occasions saying that it was biased towards China and that it did not alert the world on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic early enough.
In his letter, President Trump said that the repeated missteps by Dr Tedros and WHO in responding to the pandemic have proved extremely costly to the world and that the organisation has to "actually demonstrate independence from China." The US President compared Dr Tedros' handling of the coronavirus crisis to that of a previous chief of WHO whose response to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China was sharp and prompt.
President Trump accused the WHO of citing official Chinese data to downplay the very serious risk of asymptomatic spread of coronavirus as late as March 3, 2020. The US President further said that it was "clear that China's assertions repeated to the world by the WHO, were wildly inaccurate."
The US President pointed out that by the time the WHO finally declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, it had killed more than 4000 people and infected more than 100,000 people in at least 114 countries around the world. President Trump also said that the Chinese authorities had allowed more than 5 million people to leave Wuhan and that many of these people were bound for international destinations all over the world. The US President pointed out that the WHO was in fact against any travel ban from the China to the US, adding that he (Trump) had put it in place regardless of WHO's wishes.