Senior State Department officials said on Monday that President Donald Trump’s directive to pause funding the World Health Organization while investigating how the United Nation’s global health agency handled the coronavirus pandemic was justified and that the United States can partner with other non-governmental organizations to implement its foreign aid around the world.
During a conference call with reporters, State Department officials noted that the United States has spent the most money fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
“The United States continues to be the undisputed leader in foreign assistance,” James Richardson, director of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the U.S. Department of State, said in opening remarks during the call.
Richardson said that the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have dedicated $775 million in emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance to fight the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the $2.4 billion appropriated by Congress.
Richardson said the U.S. represents “49 percent of all government and multilateral assistance” dedicated to the battle against the pandemic.
Breitbart News asked about the United States’ financial contributions to the W.H.O. given the Trump administration’s investigation into the global entity.
“So over the past 20 years, we’ve contributed over $5 billion to the W.H.O.,” a senior State Department official said. “The past 10, that number has been 3.2, and last year we contributed almost $400 million.”
“So, so far the U.S. has used the W.H.O. as an implementing partner around the world for about $40 million of our assistance,” the official said. “So what the president saw was that W.H.O. was was not being an accountable, transparent partner, and as such it’s really important for us to make sure when you do foreign assistance that you always look at who is the best partner in order to get the job done.”
“The president rightfully … has concerns about the W.H.O., and that’s what this review is about,” the official said, adding that there are many other non-government agencies around the globe that can be used as an “implementing partner” aside from W.H.O.
“The W.H.O. is actually a fairly small implementing partner for the United States,” the official said. “We give $18-20 billion worth of health and humanitarian assistance nearly every year.”
“And so with the WHO receiving 400 million of that [last year], that’s like two percent of our total health and humanitarian assistance going through the W.H.O. to implement our programs.”
“We are absolutely committed to making sure every dollar is well spent and well accounted for, and that’s what we’re continuing to do every day with our COVID resources and all the rest of our global health and humanitarian assistance resources,” the official said.
China was only mentioned during the call in reference to how little it contributes globally to humanitarian and other aid but not the role the Trump administration believes W.H.O. played in not disseminating critical data about the coronavirus and its origin and spread inside and outside of that communist country.
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