Trump Confirms Considering Partially Restoring Funds to the W.H.O.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed a report that he is considering partially restoring U.S. funding of the World Health Organization as it investigations the United Nations-back agency’s alleged role in helping China cover-up the severity of the Wuhan virus, though no final decision on the matter has been made.

“[T]his is just one of numerous concepts being considered under which we would pay 10% of what we have been paying over many years, matching much lower China payments. Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen,” the president said of the potential decision, which was first reported by Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson.

During Friday’s broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host reported on a draft letter on a planned partial refunding of the W.H.O., which reads that the U.S. “will continue to partner and work with the World Health Organization and agree to pay up to what China pays in assessed contributions.”

Further, the letter reportedly reads: “Despite [its] shortcomings, I believe that the W.H.O. still has tremendous potential, and want to see the W.H.O live up to this potential, particularly now during this global crisis” and “That is why I’ve decided that the United States will continue to partner and work with the World Health Organization and agree to pay up to what China pays in assessed contributions.”

The reported letter also takes aim the W.HO.’s response to the coronavirus and advocates for the agency to undergo a series of reforms.

President Trump announced April 14 that his administration would place a hold on funding to the W.H.O., citing the organization’s slow response to the coronavirus outbreak and its cozy relationship with China, and would be conducting an investigation of the matter.

The president said at a White House press conference he was instructing his administration to halt funding while “a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death,” he added. “This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage. Instead, the WHO willingly took China’s assurances to face value… and defended the actions of the Chinese government.”

As Breitbart News reported, “The W.H.O. claimed in January that ‘preliminary investigations’ by China found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus in Wuhan. Further, the organization called on countries to keep borders open despite labeling the massive outbreak as a global emergency.”

American taxpayers have given over $400 million to the W.H.O. last year compared to China’s $86 million. In late April, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced it will donate an additional $30 million to make up for the U.S.’s funding cuts.

President Trump’s confirmation that he is weighing returning funding to the W.H.O. comes after Der Spiegel reported that Chinese dictator Xi Jinping asked the agency’s chief, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a phone call to withhold information regarding human-to-human transmission of the virus and delay declaring a pandemic.

In response, the U.N. agency claimed Tedros and Xi “have never spoken by phone” and added that “such inaccurate reports distract and detract from WHO’s and the world’s efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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