Trump Accuses WHO Of Giving More Support To China Despite US Funding
President Trump suggested Tuesday that he might consider cutting funding for the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus crisis and alleged role in helping China downplay the severity of the outbreak.
“The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?” he tweeted.
WHO has increasingly been the focus of questions about its response to the coronavirus pandemic, including information it tweeted in January that quoted “preliminary” findings from Chinese authorities that downplayed the seriousness of the virus that has since turned into a pandemic, shutting down daily life around the globe.
“The WHO owes an explanation to the world of why they took China’s word for it. So much suffering has been caused by the mishandling of information and lack of accountability by the Chinese,” former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted.
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The United States is the single largest contributor to the WHO. The most recent invoice from the WHO to the United States, which is one of many countries that fund the organization, was for nearly $116 million per year. The United States also voluntarily gives between approximately $100 million and $400 million more per year to the WHO for specific projects — contributions that totaled over $400 million in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available.
That means the United States contributed over $500 million in total to the WHO that year, which is just under one-quarter of the organization’s yearly budget. The WHO’s total budget for 2016 and 2017 combined was over $4 billion.
With the U.S. is its primary source of funding, lawmakers are increasingly questioning an organization they see as reflexively siding with China — the U.S.’ geopolitical rival.