President Donald Trump is ending America’s relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), Fox News reported Friday.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Trump told reporters at the White House, according to Fox.
The president also took aim at China during his Friday press briefing, saying it said has “total control” over the WHO.
Misleading the world
According to Fox, Trump alleged that “Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and pressured the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the [corona]virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.”
The president went on to complain that “countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted across the globe” due to COVID-19. As of Sunday, the virus has killed at least 369,000 around the world, including more than 100,000 Americans, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.
“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite paying $40 million a year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million per year,” Trump said Friday, according to CNBC.
The WHO and China
Though Democrats like California Rep. Ami Bera say leaving the WHO “will make the United States and the world less safe,” as The New York Times reported, the WHO has shown repeatedly that it stands behind China — even when the facts aren’t clear. In January, for instance, the WHO repeated claims made by China’s communist regime that the coronavirus was not spread by human contact, a claim later proven to be false.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇨🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
What’s more, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was still opposing travel restrictions like those the Trump administration had imposed as late as February, as Reuters reported at the time. Ghebreyesus also had ample praise for China’s handling of the crisis, saying in early February that if “it weren’t for China, the number of cases outside China would have been very much higher,” according to Reuters.
At long last
President Trump’s Friday announcement came on the heels of his decision to suspend U.S. funding to the World Health Organization last month.
The move to terminate America’s relationship with the group was praised by conservatives, with some even suggesting that it should have been done much sooner.
“President Trump announced that the United States is terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization,” Washington Examiner columnist Tiana Lowe wrote Friday. “My only question is why it took this long.”