Trump threatens to permanently freeze funding in scathing letter to WHO

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On Monday, Trump wrote to WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus threatening to withdraw the USA from the United Nations health agency, citing a series of alleged "failings" on how it has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he welcomed the proposed resolution for a comprehensive evaluation to "review experience gained and lessons learned and to make recommendations to improve national and global pandemic preparedness and response".

The top concern cited in the letter to Ghebreyesus was the WHO's inability to independently investigate the spread of the virus in Wuhan, instead parroting reports from the Chinese government. Beyond that, Trump does not specify what "substantive improvements" must be taken for the World Health Organization funding to be unfrozen.

In a video message to a virtual meeting of the WHO's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, President Xi Jinping also pledged $2 billion United States over two years to help with the COVID-19 response.

Donald Trump has accused the World Health Organization of being a puppet of China and has threatened to pull all USA funding and remove the nation's membership.

But the organisation has come under fire from the USA in particular, which has accused the World Health Organization of lacking independence and covering for China where the disease is widely believed to have originated. About $400 million in annual funds to World Health Organization have been halted since last month, according to The Washington Post. As the chair of the executive body of the WHO, India must now ensure that the inquiry into the timeline and handling of the Covid-19 pandemic is independent and thorough.

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The Lancet said allegations levelled against the World Health Organization in Trump's letter were "serious and damaging". A Chinese official, meanwhile, said the Trump administration was violating its global obligations and "trying to mislead the public, smear China and shift blame for its own incompetent response", according to the Post.

The editorial, attributed to no author but "The Lancet", is simply titled "Reviving the US CDC" and focuses on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump's letter follows his announcement in April that the USA would withhold its $400-$500 million in annual funding to the United Nations organization as his administration conducts an investigation of the WHO's failures in response to the China Virus global pandemic. The Lancet said it "published no report in December, 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China". Their first reports about the pandemic were already on January 24th and were made up of two studies detailing the person-to-person transmission of the virus.

Since much of the WHO's fund is held by the Congress, it is not clear how Trump will proceed to freeze WHO's funding. Leaders and representatives from 194 member states attended the teleconference.

"It is an attempt to mislead the public, slander China's effort in containing the coronavirus, and shift the blame to others".

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