Administration Updates / Coronavirus / Safety & Health

Trump Threatens to Exit WHO

  • President says agency must show ‘independence from China’
  • Letter is released right after Xi addresses WHO’s parent body

President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw altogether from the World Health Organization unless changes are made within 30 days.

In a four-page letter detailing his grievances with the WHO, Trump called on the group to “demonstrate independence from China,” renewing a complaint that led him in April to temporarily suspend U.S. funding. He posted the letter on Twitter late Monday.

“If the World Health Organization does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization,” Trump wrote to Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

In a related news, The World Health Organization failed at its core mission of sharing information about the pandemic, said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said in blistering criticism of the global health agency.

  • The U.S. supports an independent review of every aspect of the WHO’s response to the pandemic, Azar said at the organization’s World Health Assembly
  • “We saw that the WHO failed at its core mission of information sharing and transparency when member states do not act in good faith. This cannot ever happen again,” Azar said, adding that the “organization’s failures’’ cost lives.
  • “The status quo is intolerable,” said Azar. “The WHO must change and become far more transparent and far more accountable.”
  • In an apparent reference to China, he added “in an apparent attempt to conceal this outbreak at least one member state made a mockery of their transparency obligations with tremendous costs for the entire world.”

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