‘Permanent freezing of WHO funding from US’, President Trump threatensMay 20, 2020 19:58
(Image source from: voanews.com)
US President Donald Trump has again threatened World Health Organisation to completely and permanently halt their funding from US if they fail to not meet up with the substantive improvements in the coming 30 days.
Trump addressed a letter to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO criticising about the repeated missteps that they took when it came to the management of the virus and lack of containment options.
“The "only way forward for the [WHO] is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China," Trump mentioned in the letter further.
"If the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the WHO permanent and reconsider our membership," Trump mentioned on Twitter.
The US contribution to WHO has been suspended since last month wherein it accused the organisation of being “China-centric” and promoting the misinformation that China has fed the world with. The officials at UN healthy agency have completely denied all these allegations against them and China has also clearly mentioned that they have been transparent about their numbers from day 1.
Trump listed out all the shortcomings in the letter that he has sent to WHO Director-General citing all the wrongs they have done in controlling the pandemic before it became a public health emergency.
The President has also accused the organisation of caving into the constant Chinese pressure by delaying declaring the emergency when it actually emerged instead of waiting for things to get better.
Constant ongoing dispute
The novel coronavirus is not the first dispute between China and America as they have been in a constant battle of misunderstandings from the starting of the year because of their trade.
Following that, the two nations have been battling a constant dispute over the novel coronavirus spread where the Trump administration has been consistently blaming China for the uncontrolled spread of the virus.
Several of the critics have even mentioned that Trump blaming China is a way of diverting his lack of expertise in handling the pandemic and being proactively be able to control the spread of the virus properly.
With the persistent push, WHO has now obliged to launch an independent probe into the steps it had taken to control the spread of the virus from the starting days.
This specific probe is likely going to help get an idea about the origin of the virus and how China’s early handling of the outbreak could have resulted in something better.
In one of the annual meetings of WHO, Tedros acknowledged that there have been quite a few shortcomings from their part and he is open for a review of the situation now and the process that has followed since the beginning of time.
"We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic. Every country and every organisation must examine its response and learn from its experience. WHO is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement," said Tedros.
But, Tedros has also clarified that WHO had declared the ‘global health emergency’, which is the highest alert right on January 30, when the number of confirmed cases across the world was just 100.
Later on March 11, WHO declared Covid-19 as a pandemic. By then, the virus had already infected hundreds of thousands of people and killed thousands as well.
The “Wake up” Call
The seven figure internal body of WHO has reported that the organisation has proactively handled the outbreak and demonstrated leadership during the time of need. The same is between the months of January and April.
The report was backed by a probe into the global response by the organisation but also clarified that doing so during the heat of the pandemic could very well disrupt WHO in responding proactively to the emergency.
The panel also defended their strategies and decisions saying that an imperfect along with evolving understanding of the situation is not wrong, especially because of the nature of the disease and how new everything is to everyone.
China's President Xi Jinping vehemently defended his country’s pride and shut down all the allegations saying that they have acted all open and transparent all this time when it came to sharing the necessary data.
Xi has also pledged $2 billion funding over two years to help with the Covid-19 response and even reported that any kind of vaccine that is made by China will be made for the public’s good.
"We have seen some solidarity, but very little unity, in our response to COVID-19. Different countries have followed different, sometimes contradictory, strategies and we are all paying a heavy price," said Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general.
By Somapika Dutta