Global Consumer Group Launches Campaign to Defund WHO, Applauds Trump’s Vow to Investigate

(From L - R) World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme Director Michael Ryan, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove attends during a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquaters on March 2, 2020 in Geneva. - The World Health Organization …
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

Consumer Choice Center, a global consumer advocacy group, is launching a campaign to defund the World Health Organization (WHO) and is praising President Donald Trump for his remarks at Tuesday’s coronavirus press briefing when he said he would be looking into the massive funding the United States gives to WHO annually.

Trump at the press briefing criticized how WHO had not been transparent about the coronavirus and its genesis and evolution in China.

“They called it wrong … we’re gonna put a hold on money spent to the WHO,” Trump said. “We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it.”

“It’s a good thing when it works, but when they call every shot wrong, that’s no good,” Trump said.

“President Trump’s decision speaks to the larger inefficiencies and issues of transparency and accountability that have plagued the World Health Organization in recent years,” Yaël Ossowski, deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, said in a statement he distributed to the press.

“While the failures of the WHO have only recently gotten publicity, this has been a long time coming,” Ossowski said.

Ossowski outlined some of those inefficiencies in his statement.

“It has been revealed that the WHO spends up to $200 million per year, or $28,500 per staffer, on travel costs alone, more than the budgets of combatting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined,” Ossowski said. “Not to mention they’ve been known to host extravagant galas and conferences that do not further global public health.”

“We witnessed this during the Ebola epidemic in western Africa in 2013-14, where the WHO was too slow to respond and inadequate in health policies, and we’re seeing it in realtime with COVID-19,” Ossowski said.

“The WHO and its Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have cozied up to the Chinese Communist Party since the beginning of the outbreak and praised their failures,” Ossowski said. “Even as late as January 19th, the WHO parroted the Chinese Communist Party’s narrative that human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus was very unlikely.”

“Now is the time to send a clear signal that the WHO needs to be transparent and accountable for their failures,” Ossowski said.

“In 2017, Consumer Choice Center led the efforts in calling on the United States and member nations to cut funding to the WHO to realign their priorities toward health emergencies such as the very real pandemic we currently face,” Ossowski said. “The WHO has failed in its principal mission and it needs to be defunded. We applaud President Trump for his bold move.”

According to the World Health Organization, the United States as a “member state” has an assessed contribution owed to the organization for 2020-2021 of $115,766,922.

The United States is the largest donor to the World Health Organization of all countries that are member states.

“We’re going to make a determination about what we’re doing,” Trump said at the daily coronavirus press briefing on Wednesday at the White House.

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