After several warnings to the World Health Organization (WHO), United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday, halted US funding to the UN body after alleging mismanaging the coronavirus crisis. He announced this decision during his daily White House briefing. Trump has blamed WHO's "very much sided" approach to China on coronavirus crisis, asserting that many people are unhappy with the global health agency and feel that "it's been very unfair".
Trump said: "Today I am instructing my administration to halt the funding of WHO while the review is conducted is assessing WHO's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the Coronavirus. In an obvious reference to China, he said "Everybody knows what's going on there." American taxpayer provides about 400 million to 500 million dollars per year to WHO in contrast China contributes only 40 million dollars or less. As the highest contributor, it is our duty to insist on full accountability."
Trump had threatened to cut US funding to WHO. “We're going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO” and added, “We pay for a majority or the biggest portion of their money,” he had said. In response, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had urged the United States to join hands with China in combating the disease rather than indulging in a blame game saying, "If you don't want more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it."
Meanwhile, on April 11, Trump had teased an announcement about the WHO saying "As you know, we give them (WHO) approximately $500 million a year and we're going to be talking about that subject next week. We'll have a lot to say about it."
Leading the number of worldwide cases of novel coronavirus COVID-19 infection, the United States has become the new epicentre of the pandemic surpassing China, Italy, and Iran. With over 600,000 cases to date, the Trump administration has been facing momentous criticism for failing to contain the outbreak. Trump has also not announced a nationwide shutdown to deal with coronavirus.
Meanwhile, New York -- one of the worst-hit spots in the US, has seen a total of 10,834 deaths and over 202,208 COVID-19 positive cases. However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday during his daily briefing asserted that the worst phase of the coronavirus pandemic is over. According to him, the numbers are saying that they can now control the spread of the virus. First detected in China's Wuhan, at present, there are around 1,986,554 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection across the globe and the disease has led to the death of around 125,421 people. In a ray of hope, around 466,635 people are also reported to have recovered.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump in his press address hits out at a reporter when asked about consequences for China. A visibly irked Trump asked the reporter as to how she knows there "won't be consequences for China." Trump went on to say that China will find out the consequences as and when it happens.