WHO Funding: Following the alleged conspiracy of WHO taking side with China the United States (US) have decided to suspend its funding of the organization.
United States President, Donald Trump, has announced that his administration has suspended funding for the World Health Organisation for “failing in its basic duty” to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.
US financial contributions to the WHO accounted for just under 15 per cent of its funding in 2019. Trump accused WHO of siding with China on the outbreak of the virus by covering up the true situation of things in Wuhan.
Trump accused WHO of siding with China on the outbreak of the virus by covering up the true situation of things in Wuhan.
He said, “I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to access the World Health Organisation’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of Coronavirus.”
“The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.”
The president said hundreds of millions of dollars in US funding would be suspended while a review was conducted to assess the WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus”. He also criticised the organisation’s relationship with China.
“American taxpayers provide between $400m and $500m per year to the WHO; in contrast China contributes roughly $40m a year, even less,” Mr Trump said on Tuesday. “As the organisation’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability.”
“With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible.”
On Wednesday, Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said Washington’s decision would “weaken the capabilities of the WHO, harm international co-operation against the epidemic, and affect various countries including the USA itself domestically”.
China’s state media also announced that President Xi Jinping would publish an essay titled “United co-operation is the most powerful weapon of the international community in winning the war against the epidemic” in Thursday’s edition of Qiushi, a Communist party journal.
Supporting Trump, Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, criticised the WHO’s apparent refusal to advise China to keep its wet markets closed, which are thought to have been the source of the outbreak in Wuhan.
“On the issue of the wet markets, I just find it baffling. I just don’t get it,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Trump’s decision won favour with Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have repeatedly censured the WHO and questioned its links with China.
Jim Risch, the Republican senator from Idaho who chairs the Senate foreign relations committee, said last week that the health body had become a “political puppet of the Chinese government” and called for an independent investigation into the organisation.
“The WHO has failed not only the American people, it has failed the world with its flagrant mishandling of the response to Covid-19,” Mr Risch said.
Meanwhile, Billonaire, Bill Gates, who is currently under many eyes for controversy has said that US halting of WHO Funding is ‘Dangerous.
Gates in a tweet on his handle, faulted Trump’s decision at a time the world is fighting a pandemic.
He said, “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds.”
The world, more than ever, needs the WHO which is helping to slow down the spread of COVID-19, according to Gates.
“Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”
The WHO had in January declared coronavirus a public health emergency of global concern with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledging about $100m to help in the fight against the pandemic.
According to the foundation, the money will be deployed to help find a vaccine for the pandemic
In addition, a former head of Britain’s spy agency, MI6, has accused China of concealing information about its coronavirus from the rest of the world.
Sir John Sawers, who ran MI6 between 2009 and 2014, was responding to Donald Trump’s decision to withhold US funding from the World Health Organisation, on the grounds it had “covered up” the spread of the Covid-19. He told the BBC it would be more appropriate to criticise Beijing. He said:
There is deep anger in America at what they see as having been inflicted on us all by China, and China is evading a good deal of responsibility for the origin of the virus, for failing to deal with it … initially.
… Intelligence is about acquiring information which has been concealed from you by other states and other actors. Now, there was a brief period in December and January when the Chinese were indeed concealing this from the West.
Sawyers, who has also served as the UK’s permanent representative to the UN, said the pandemic would have an impact on international relations.
The trends that are under way anyway, the growing dependence on technology, the weakening of international bodies like the United Nations, the shift of economic power to Asia – I think these are all going to move forward more rapidly now as in the context of this pandemic.