SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said that the U.S. will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, saying it had failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus because China has “total control” over the global organization.
He said Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the WHO to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered. He noted that the U.S. contributes about $450 million to the world body while China provides about $40 million.
Congressman Richard Neal, who also chairs the House Committee on Ways and Means, released a statement following the president’s announcement:
“President Trump is putting politics before science and data with his misguided decision to terminate the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization. This week our country reached a sad milestone when the COVID-19 death toll reached 100,000. The middle of an unprecedented global pandemic is the wrong time to cut ties with an agency that is on the front lines of the international battle to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease. Since 1948, the WHO has been recognized as a leader in the effort to help shape an integrated global health policy. Making a scapegoat out of the WHO at this time is irresponsible and will do nothing to end this public health crisis.”Congressman Richard Neal
The U.S. is the largest source of financial support to the WHO and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organization.
Trump said the U.S. would be “redirecting” the money to “other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” without providing specifics.