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President Trump said today that the US government "is ending our relationship" with the World Health Organization, claiming that the global health group has failed to implement the necessary reforms and that it is fully controlled by China.
"China has total control over the World Health Organization, even though it only pays $ 40 million a year compared to what the United States paid, which is about $ 450 million a year," Trump said during a short press conference in the Rose Garden of the World White House (see video).
Trump stopped funding WHO in mid-April. On May 18, he sent a letter to the WHO saying that if the United States "does not commit to making significant, significant improvements within the next 30 days," the group will stop funding the group permanently. Only eleven days have passed since then, but Trump said today that he would continue with his threat.
"Because they have not implemented the required and much-needed reforms, today we will end our relationship with the World Health Organization and pass those funds on to other worldwide and deserved, pressing global public health needs," said Trump.
Congress could try to stop Trump from pulling the United States out of WHO, a United Nations agency. As CNBC wrote today, "It is unclear what mechanism Trump will use to end WHO funding, much of which is provided by Congress. The President is usually not authorized to unilaterally redirect Congress funding."
A WHO official recently said that the cut in US funds "has an important impact on the delivery of basic health services to some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and we trust that developed donors will intervene to address this gap if necessary close, "CNBC wrote.
After Trump first made the threat in mid-April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Said Trump's actions were "dangerous, illegal, and quickly challenged." On April 27, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs launched an investigation into Trump's decision to withhold funding.
Trump is also aimed at Chinese students and companies
Today Trump spoke 10 minutes and left without answering questions from the press. In addition to withdrawing from the WHO, Trump announced that he had "issued a proclamation to better safeguard our country's vital university research and to suspend the entry of certain foreigners from China that we identified as potential security risks." In addition, Trump said he instructed his President's Working Party on Financial Markets to "study the different practices of Chinese companies listed on the US financial markets with the aim of protecting American investors."
"China has searched our factories, relocated our jobs, gutted our industries, stolen our intellectual property, and violated their World Trade Organization obligations," Trump said, accusing "former presidents" of allowing it.
Trump has repeatedly criticized WHO for not being tough enough on China during the pandemic. But Trump himself praised China for its "transparency" about the coronavirus on January 24 and repeatedly praised China for its coronavirus response in February. Trump said today that "Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and put pressure on the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities."
"China's cover-up of the Wuhan virus has allowed the disease to spread around the world and triggered a global pandemic that has cost more than 100,000 American lives and over a million people worldwide," Trump said. "The world needs answers from China to the virus."