WHO China-centric, will ‘make announcement’ on funding it next week: Trump

Washington: Reiterating his allegation of the World Health Organization being China-centric, US President Donald Trump on Friday said he would be making an announcement next week on America’s annual funding of around USD500 million to it.

We’re going to have an announcement on the World Health Organization sometime next week. As you know, we gave them approximately USD500 million a year and we’re going to be talking about that subject next week. We’ll have a lot to say about it, Trump told reporters during his daily White House news conference on coronavirus pandemic.

Early this week, the president had threatened to put on hold on the American funding to WHO.

The United States has alleged that WHO sided with China in trusting the latter’s fabricated data on coronavirus spread. Trump and US lawmakers have now started questioning the WHO’s independence. The WHO chief and China both have denied the allegations.

Responding to questions, Trump said WHO has become China-centric and that Beijing has been taking advantage of the United States for long time.

Meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wrote to WHO questioning its initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its suspected reliance on China’s manipulated health data, which is believed to have hindered the world’s ability to effectively prepare and respond to pandemic, costing countless lives.

Unfortunately, there is ample reason to question WHO’s response to early signs of this outbreak in China. The lack of independent analysis and advice in the face of initial misleading public messages from China has resulted in several countries scrambling to make up for lost time, Grassley wrote.

This reporting raises the question whether WHO had reason to believe the information China was providing was inaccurate, and whether due to its reliance on incorrect, unverifiable information, WHO was slow in raising the global alarm about the outbreak, he said in his letter.

It is WHO’s responsibility to act in an independent manner on behalf of the entire world by seeking accurate, impartial information and assessing all information from governments for reliability when advising member countries of possible outbreaks, Grassley said.

China’s messages and misinformation campaign on coronavirus spread has had a detrimental impact on the global community, and a clear, direct impact on WHO’s ability to stay ahead of this pandemic, he alleged.

Rather than parroting Chinese propaganda and talking points, WHO should be making independent assessments. Like many of my colleagues in the United States Senate, I question Communist China’s ability and willingness to coordinate in a transparent manner with international bodies when it comes to combating the threat of the coronavirus, Grassley said.

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