President Donald Trump announced earlier today that the United States will sever ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) during his press conference earlier today.
“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump said during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.
“The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?” he continued. “It didn’t go to Beijing, it went nowhere else, but they allowed them to freely travel throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.”
The president’s announcement comes as the death toll from the novel coronavirus in the United States tops 104,000. He had repeatedly threatened to cut ties with WHO in recent weeks as the pandemic tore its way through the nation.
The decision was met with heated criticism.
Trump is so mad about Chinese influence at the WHO that he's going to dramatically increase Chinese influence at the WHO. Makes a lot of sense in the middle of a pandemic that requires global cooperation.
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) May 29, 2020
Trump said “The world needs answers from China on the virus.” We’re less likely to get answers on anything (or viral samples for research), if we’re not a @WHO member. He’s planning on “redirecting funding”-where? For what? Polio? AIDS? Malaria? TB? https://t.co/ClyWcRnW54
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 29, 2020
This is a phenomenal mistake, not only for the world, but for American self-interest and national security.
Withdrawing from @WHO — especially in the middle of a #pandemic — is self-destructive. There is no alternative global health presence.https://t.co/KxqxcF7XF0
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) May 29, 2020
The president further claimed that the WHO “failed to make the requested greatly needed reform” and the U.S. “will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs.”