US is the biggest funder of the World Health Organization and his announcement drew widespread criticism. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose foundation was the second-biggest funder of the WHO in 2018-19, called the decision “as dangerous as it sounds.”
U.S. Republicans call for WHO chief to resign amid poor handling of Coronavirus allowed it to be pandemic
U.S. President said the WHO had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the coronavirus and been too lenient with Beijing.
Republican U.S. lawmakers echoed President Donald Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organisation on Thursday, with some suggesting he withhold aid until the U.N. agency’s director general resigns while others called for an international investigation of its handling of the coronavirus. Best explained WHO poor performance enumerated.
Seventeen of Mr. Trump’s fellow Republicans on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee wrote a letter to Mr. Trump supporting his announcement this week that he was withholding funding for the WHO, and saying he should make the resumption of contributions conditional on the resignation of Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
WHO’s handling of the outbreak. The organization’s initial response is now seen as far too accepting of the official Chinese government line in the first few weeks. In particular, a single social media message has come back to haunt it. On January 14, the organization said on Twitter: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”
Defenders of the WHO point to guidance sent to governments on January 10 and 11, outlining the way the virus spreads and asking health officials to be alert to any ‘evidence of amplified or sustained human-to-human transmission.’ Those WHO supporters also note that Trump himself had tweeted support for Beijing’s handling of the situation in the early days of the outbreak. For many observers, Trump’s attacks on the WHO are self-serving, designed to deflect criticism away from his initially slow and skeptical response to what he calls the “Chinese virus.”
While the WHO was perhaps too slow on the uptake, we should be wary of critics’ implication that it should be given the job of policing national governments. For now, the WHO is in an awkward position of having to deal with the politics of different member countries while responding to health emergencies. Moreover, the WHO ‘cried wolf’ over the 2009 swine flu pandemic. The WHO’s director general at the time, Margaret Chan, famously said “All of humanity is under threat” from the outbreak, but it proved to be far less deadly than feared. A bit more caution over the new coronavirus was probably sensible.