Continuing his tirade against the World Health Organisation (WHO), US President Donald Trump on Friday, took to Twitter to question why the WHO ignored an email from Taiwanese health officials in late December about Coronavirus (COVID-19). He continued to question why WHO did not take decisive action in January and February, quoting yet another Fox News anchor. Trump himself has been criticised by all for halting funding to WHO amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the US the hardest.
Why did the W.H.O. Ignore an email from Taiwanese health officials in late December alerting them to the possibility that CoronaVirus could be transmitted between humans? Why did the W.H.O. make several claims about the CoronaVirus that ere either inaccurate or misleading....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Earlier in the day, the White House released a three-phase plan to re-open America for “rejuvenation of economy”, once states fulfill a particular set of conditions. Phase one included vulnerable individuals to remain at home and public gatherings will be restricted to 10 people, with employers encouraging to work remotely and allowing limited essential travel. While bars will remain shut, gyms will be allowed to open along with hospitals resuming the elective surgeries.
In phase 2 states showing “no evidence of a rebound", the number of people allowed will be increased to 50, keeping vulnerable people confined to their homes, but opening schools and youth activities, along with bars. In phase 3, states showing no cases of re-infections, vulnerable individuals will be allowed in public, staffing at full capacity and bars will be allowed to operate with a larger capacity. Currently, the US has 6,79,752 cases with around 34,705 deaths.
Trump has claimed that WHO was very China-centric, before temporarily halting the US' funding of the World Health Organization (WHO) as it "failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable". In response, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged the United States to join with China in combating the disease rather than indulging in a blame game saying 'If you don't want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicising it'. Backing WHO, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Spokesperson said that the US State Department was speaking with political motives and neglecting facts.
Trump who had earlier downplayed Coronavirus's effects - terming it a 'Chinese virus', has now called it the 'worst thing to hit the US'. The USA which has overtaken China in the number of positive cases has emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic. While initially, Trump claimed to have the country 'up and running by Easter', he extended its social distancing restrictions till April 30. The White House, which has forecasted over 1,00,000- 2,40,00 deaths in the US, stopped federal funding to states for testing but reversed it after facing a severe backlash.