The World Health Organization has dismissed claims by Trump that the health body is ‘China centric’ and have pleaded with Trump not to cut funding at this point in time when the world is at a critical stage of fighting Coronavirus.
Trump on Tuesday blasted the W.H.O as ‘China Centric’ saying the body didn’t report the exact death tolls coming in from China and even advised him (Trump) to open up his borders with China in Janaury while the disease was seriously ravaging the country.
Trump administration’s handling of coronavirus has been criticized as US deaths hit a new record even though he closed borders with China as far back as January.
The US now has nearly 400,000 confirmed cases and 13,000 deaths, compared with close to 83,000 cases and 3,337 deaths in China. Globally there are more than 1.4 million cases and just over 82,000 deaths.
Trump said the WHO had been “wrong about a lot of things” and threatened to put a hold on WHO funding.
In 2019, US contributions to WHO exceeded $400 million, almost double the second-largest member state contribution .
“We’re going to investigate it, we’re going to look at it. But we will look at ending funding, yeah, because you know what, they called it wrong, and if you look back over the years even, everything seems to be very biased toward China.” Trump said during his Coronavirus press briefing.
Trump and key Republican supporters have accused the WHO of being biased towards China, called for the removal of WHO DIrector Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and have even demanded a congressional investigation into the activities of the WHO.
“We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding,” Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, told a virtual briefing in response to a question about Trump’s comments, Reuters reported.
David Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy for Covid-19, told the Guardian that now wasn’t the time to place blames but to tackle the disease head on.
“The world is in the middle of an extraordinary and epic struggle against a virus that is completely new,” he said.
“We are learning all the time about how to reduce the suffering, the consequences of the containment and efforts to prepare the world to live with it. With something like this each decision that we make is closely examined – as it should be.
“But for now I would suggest we wait until the time the emergency subsides, when of course there will be inquiries, and individuals, governments and institutions are scrutinised.”
“We are trying to combine science and risk-assessment as we connect with the people who are making really tough decisions. They need to be able to trust us and have confidence in us as they do their best to ensure that their decisions are based on the best available evidence.”
Asked about Trump’s remarks at the WHO daily briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, WHO Director Dr.Tedros said “I don’t think that’s necessary,” he said.
“We shouldn’t waste time pointing fingers. We need time to unite … Let’s unite … The worst is yet to come if we don’t rush to ensure unity.”