Trump announces an end to U.S. relations with the World Health Organization


“As they failed to implement the much needed and required reforms, today we will end our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirect these funds to other urgent and deserving health needs worldwide,” said Trump.

The president said that “the world needs answers from China about the virus. We must have transparency. ”

Earlier in his comments, Trump said that China had not adequately reported the information it had about the coronavirus to the World Health Organization, claiming that China had put pressure on the WHO to “deceive the world”.

“Chinese officials have ignored their obligations to denounce the World Health Organization and put pressure on the World Health Organization to deceive the world when Chinese authorities first discovered the virus,” said Trump. “Countless lives have been taken and profound financial difficulties have been inflicted all over the world.”

A WHO spokesman told CNN on Friday: “We have no comments to offer right now.”

The president previously announced a temporary suspension of funds to the WHO and sent a letter to the agency in early May saying that the United States would withdraw funds permanently if the WHO had not “made significant improvements.” substantial in the next 30 days “.

In that letter, Trump included a false description of when the virus information was published in The Lancet, prompting the prestigious medical journal to publicly contest his claims.

Trump’s decision to permanently end U.S. relations. United States of America With the WHO, a model of world organizations skepticism has lasted for years, and the President said in almost all circumstances that he was taking advantage of the United States. United States of America

The President questioned U.S. funding for the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, withdrew from the Paris climate accords and repeatedly criticized the World Trade Organization.

He also blamed China for taking advantage of the United States. United States, indicated the nation for finding work in the United States of America. And now, it has not been able to stop the spread of coronavirus in the United States. United States of America

Trump, meanwhile, has given himself and his administration rave reviews about his pandemic management, despite the failed Covid-19 tests and a shortage of stocks in the country when they needed it most.

WHO has been criticized for relying on official Chinese government figures for the virus, figures that many officials doubt are accurate. He was also criticized by a tweet on January 14 that the preliminary investigation by the Chinese authorities had not found clear evidence of the person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus.

Critics also wondered if the WHO is independent enough given China’s growing wealth and power. They indicate the effective praise of the WHO for China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Organization officials defended their first actions when it came to fighting coronavirus, noting that not much was known about the virus in January.

The President also said that if the WHO had acted appropriately, it could have imposed a travel ban on people who previously came from China.

But health experts, U.S. lawmakers and world leaders have expressed concern about the organization’s underfunding in the midst of a pandemic.

Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, attacked Trump’s announcement on Friday as “absurdity” with “significant and harmful repercussions.”

“COVID-19 affects all of us and does not respect borders; to defeat him, everyone must work together, “Harris said in a statement. “In the strongest possible terms, the American Medical Association urges the president to reverse course and not abandon our country’s leading position in the global fight against COVID-19.”

Trump’s announcement also received rejection within the Republican party. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, president of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said: “I disagree with the president’s decision.”

“Of course, you need to take a good look at the mistakes that the World Health Organization could have made about coronavirus, but the time to do it is after the crisis has been addressed, not in the middle of it.” Alexander said in one sentence.

His comments were taken up by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat who has often shown his willingness to work with Trump and the Republicans.

“The United States cannot remove this virus on its own and withdraw from the World Health Organization, the world’s leading public health agency, is reckless,” said Manchin in a statement. “Throughout our nation’s history, the United States has always risen to lead the world through the crisis and I believe we must continue to do so now.”

“I warmly urge the President to reconsider this decision and urge all my colleagues in Congress to speak. It is time for us to stand firm, “he continued.

In April, over 1,000 organizations and individuals, including charities, medical experts and health care companies around the world, signed a letter urging the Trump administration to reverse course and keep funds.

And when Trump published his letter in May, European leaders, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, delivered messages of support to the WHO while speaking to the World Health Assembly.

“This pandemic highlighted our vulnerability and made it clear that we need each other,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. “That’s why more than ever we must be united”.

This story has been updated with further developments and context.

CNN’s Paul LeBlanc, Kylie Atwood, Amanda Watts and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

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