Mr Trump accuses the UN company of having an “alarming absence of independence” from China.
US President Donald Trump has despatched a letter to the head of the Planet Wellbeing Firm (WHO) threatening to pull US funding permanently about Covid-19.
The letter outlines a 30-working day deadline for the body to commit to “substantive improvements” or possibility shedding hundreds of thousands and US membership entirely.
Tackled to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, it criticises stages of the body’s reaction since December.
Earlier in the day, Mr Trump termed the UN’s overall health physique a “puppet of China”.
The president, who faces re-election this 12 months and has himself been criticised for his handling of the pandemic, has blamed China for hoping to go over up the outbreak and has accused the WHO of failing to hold Beijing to account.
The US has far more than 1.5 million of the world’s 4.8 million verified circumstances of coronavirus so far, with additional than 90,000 fatalities.
Mr Trump’s ultimatum also will come at a time of strain for the WHO.
On Monday Dr Tedros backed a review of the agency’s dealing with of the pandemic. He mentioned an independent analysis would choose area “at the earliest ideal moment”.
What does the letter say?
Mr Trump revealed the letter on Twitter on Monday evening, adhering to a working day of hefty US criticism of the wellbeing agency.
US Health Secretary Alex Azar previously spoke at the UN’s Globe Wellbeing Assembly and accused the WHO of letting Covid-19 spin “out of control” at the price of “many lives”.
In his letter to Dr Tedros, the US president accuses the WHO of possessing an “alarming deficiency of independence” from China.
Between his assertions, Mr Trump accuses the agency of getting “consistently ignored” what he describes as “credible reports” of the virus spreading in Wuhan at the get started of December or even before.
Also in the letter, Mr Trump:
- Cites reports the WHO delayed an crisis declaration less than stress from President Xi Jinping
- Criticises the agency’s praise of China’s “transparency” amid experiences of censorship and lack of global cooperation
- Accuses the WHO of failing to remark on virus-connected racial discrimination allegedly happening inside of China
- Suggests Dr Tedros could have saved “many lives” if he experienced acted much more like Dr Harlem Brundtland, the WHO main for the duration of the Sars outbreak
Mr Trump, in his summary, alleges that “repeated missteps” by Dr Tedros and the WHO had been “extremely high priced for the world”.
“The only way forward for the Environment Wellness Group is if it can truly demonstrate independence from China,” his letter says.
Mr Trump then calls for the organisation to dedicate to “major substantive improvements” inside 30 days, without the need of clarifying what this indicates.
Without the need of these adjustments, the president says, the US will make his non permanent freeze of US funding long-lasting and “reconsider our membership in the organisation” altogether.
Mr Trump announced the halting of US payments final month. The nation is one particular of the most important contributors to the WHO, accounting for just less than 15% of its funding in the previous money calendar year.
The ultimatum letter will come in the midst of the UN’s Environment Well being Assembly – an yearly meeting involving 194 member states reviewing the get the job done of the UN’s health agency.
So considerably the digital forum has been dominated by wellness leaders clashing in excess of the WHO’s function, as nicely as pushes for an inquiry into how they handled the pandemic.