President Trump is cutting all US funding to the World Health Organization as of Friday afternoon.
‘China has total control over the World Health Organization despite paying only $40 million per year, compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million per year’, said the President.
Trump cited the WHO’s failure to enact recommended reforms and said that the funding will be redirected toward other public health initiatives.
The announcement comes after months of skepticism about the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In early April, the Trump administration froze funding to the WHO due to their mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis.
‘America and the world have chosen to rely on the WHO for accurate, timely, and independent information to make important public health recommendations and decisions. If we cannot trust that this is what we will receive from the WHO, our country will be forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals’, said the President on April 14.
Between 2018 and 2019, the United States offered to contribute $893 million to the WHO, which included normal member country dues as well as voluntary contributions of $656 million. Trump’s cut means that the WHO has lost its largest funder.
Second and third to the United States in WHO contributions are the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the United Kingdom, respectively. China is the 12th largest contributor, mainly providing mandatory member dues.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, has fallen under suspicion from American officials. At first he praised Xi Jinping for China’s response to the coronavirus. Before he was voted into the top role at the WHO, it was alleged that he covered up three cholera outbreaks in Ethiopia during his tenure as health minister.