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COVID19: Trump Threatens Permanent Freeze Of World Health Organization Funding

– President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to permanently halt funding for the planet Health Organization (WHO) if it didn’t plan to improvements within 30 days, and to reconsider the membership of the us within the body.

Trump suspended U.S. contributions to the WHO last month, accusing it of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the coronavirus outbreak, although WHO officials denied the accusation and China said it had been transparent and open.

“If the WHO doesn’t plan to major substantive improvements within subsequent 30 days, i will be able to make my temporary freeze of us funding to the WHO permanent and reconsider our membership,” Trump told its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during a letter posted on Twitter.

Earlier, Trump said the WHO had “done a really sad job” in its handling of the virus and he would make a choice soon on U.S. funding.

In his letter, Trump said the sole way forward for the body was if it could demonstrate independence from China, adding that his administration had already started reform discussions with Tedros.

On Monday, the WHO said an independent review of the worldwide virus response would begin as soon as possible and it had received backing and a hefty pledge of funds from China, within the spotlight because the origin of the pandemic.

Geneva-based WHO, a U.N. specialized agency, is leading a worldwide initiative to develop safe and effective vaccines, tests and medicines to stop , diagnose and treat COVID-19.

More than 4.75 million people are reported to possess been infected globally and 314,414 have died, consistent with a Reuters tally.

The us contributed quite $400 million to the WHO in 2019, or roughly 15% of the organization’s budget.

And this year, Washington has already paid the WHO about $58 million, senior Trump administration officials said last month, half what it’s required to buy 2020 – referred to as an assessed contribution.

The us traditionally provides several hundred million dollars annually in voluntary funding tied to specific WHO programs like polio eradication, vaccine-preventable disease, HIV and hepatitis, tuberculosis, and maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.

It was not clear what proportion voluntary funding the us had already provided for WHO programs in 2020.

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