Coronavirus: Trump Gives WHO Ultimatum Over Covid-19 Handling

Mr Trump published the letter on Twitter on Monday night, following a day of heavy US criticism of the health agency.

Coronavirus: Trump Gives WHO Ultimatum Over Covid-19 Handling
image-flickr

US President Donald Trump has sent a letter on Tuesday to the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) threatening to pull out US funding permanently over coronavirus pandemic response. To commit to substantive improvements, the letter outlined a 30-day ultimatum or risked losing millions and US membership altogether.

The letter addressed to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus criticizes the stages of the UN body’s response since the coronavirus broke out months ago. Earlier in the day, the president called the body “puppet of China”.

Donald Trump, who faces re-election in November, has also been criticized for his administration’s response to the pandemic outbreak. Many accuse him of using the critical juncture for political gains and risking peoples’ lives. But Trump has accused China instead of concealing the outbreak and also blamed WHO for failing to hold Beijing to account.

According to the data compiled by John Hopkins University, the US remains the worst-hit country by the pandemic. As of Monday, it has recorded more than 4.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus with nearly 90,000 fatalities.

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Trump’s ultimatum to WHO comes a day after Tedros agreed for an independent evaluation of the agency’s performance during the outbreak. On Monday, the president also posted the letter on twitter.

Alex Azar, the US health secretary while speaking at the World Health Assembly, accused Beijing of letting the coronavirus out of spin at the cost of thousands of lives. In his letter to WHO, Trump also said that the UN body lacks independence from China.

Among his assertions, the president accused China of ignoring the early signs of coronavirus spreading in Wuhan at the start of December or even earlier. He also cited reports that WHO refrained from declaring it an emergency under pressure from China.

Most of the accusations in the letter are China-centric, Trump criticized the WHO’s praise for Beijing’s transparency in the outbreak amid the reports of concealment and censorship. He added that the only way forward is if it can demonstrate independence from Beijing’s pressure.

In conclusion, he called out the authority to make substantive improvements within 30 days. Without clarifying his demands, Trump said that without these changes, the US would make this temporary freeze of funding a permanent one and reconsider its membership in the organization altogether.

Last month, the US, the biggest contributor to WHO with almost 15 percent of funding in the last financial year, announced the halting of its funding to the international body. The ultimatum from American president comes as the 194 countries gather at the World Health Assembly to review the performance of the body.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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