Donald Trump says funding for the WHO remains suspended but confirms he is considering reducing US contribution from $400M to just $40M to match China’s
- President Trump confirmed on Saturday US is considering ‘numerous concepts’
- He said US funding to WHO remains frozen and no final decision has been made
- Leaked draft letter suggested Trump was looking to reduce US aid to $40M
- US previously sent $400 million a year while China sends 10 per cent of that
- Trump cut funding last month pending an investigation into WHO pandemic response
Donald Trump has confirmed he is considering restoring funding to the World Health Organization, but wants to reduce the US’s contribution to just $40million.
The president tweeted on Saturday morning saying no final decision has been made and that US funding for the global health agency remains frozen.
Trump had responded to a tweet by Fox News anchor Lou Dobbs about a leaked White House letter that claimed the president was preparing to resume partial funding after cutting off all aid last month.
‘Lou, this is just one of numerous concepts being considered under which we would pay 10% of what we have been paying over many years, matching much lower China payments. Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen. Thanks!’ Trump said.
President Donald Trump confirmed on Saturday he is considering reducing the US’s contribution to the World Health Organization to just $40million
Trump suspended US aid to the WHO on April 14, accusing it of promoting China’s ‘disinformation’ about the coronavirus outbreak and saying his administration would launch a review of the organization.
WHO officials denied the claims and China has insisted it was transparent and open.
The president has kept up the criticism, saying at a town hall last week: ‘The World Health Organisation has been a disaster — everything they said was wrong, and they’re China-centric.’
On Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson reported that the White House was on the brink of resuming funding at the same level as China.
Previously, the US sent the WHO about $400million a year – ten times the amount China contributes.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is seen above. Questions linger about the relationship between China and the WHO
‘Despite [its] shortcomings, I believe that the WHO still has tremendous potential, and want to see the WHO live up to this potential, particularly now during this global crisis’ the draft letter reads, apparently in Trump’s voice.
‘That is why I’ve decided the United States will continue to partner and work with the World Health Organization’ it adds. ‘China owes a massive debt to the entire world, and it can start with paying its fair share to the WHO.’
‘If China increases its funding to the WHO,’ the letter adds, ‘we will consider matching those increases.’
It comes as questions linger about the relationship between China and the WHO.
Earlier this week, it was reported that the CIA believes China bullied the WHO into delaying the declaration of a global health emergency in January, even as Beijing hoarded medical equipment.
A CIA report says China threatened to stop cooperating with the WHO’s coronavirus investigation if the organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency, according to Newsweek.
The alleged delay came at a crucial time in January, as the virus was spreading around the world undetected and China was stockpiling medical equipment and protective gear made in the U.S. and elsewhere.
World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (left) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing on January 28, 2020
It is the second Western intelligence report to indicate that China strong-armed the WHO into downplaying the risks of the epidemic, after a German intelligence document reported by Der Spiegel suggested that Chinese leader Xi Jinping personally pressured WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, the WHO denied that it had bowed to any outside pressure in the early stages of the pandemic.
‘The WHO Constitution says that each Member State must ‘respect the exclusively international character of the Director-General and the staff and not to seek to influence them,’’ the statement said.
‘We know that every country understands this obligation is critical to WHO’s impartiality and neutrality in its global health work.’