TBILISI(BPI)- The US will halt funding to the World Health Organization after Donald Trump accused the global health body of “severely mismanaging” the coronavirus pandemic.
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.”
The US, where almost 26,000 people have died from Covid-19, is the largest single contributor to the WHO. It gives the body about $500m each year, with $116m mandated by the UN and about another $400m in voluntary payments.
“With the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible,” Mr Trump said. “The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion.”
Democrats criticised Mr Trump’s decision, accusing the president of trying to distract voters from his own handling of Covid-19, having initially said the virus would disappear “like a miracle”.