Trump calls WHO a puppet of China
Published: 11:29 AM, 19 May 2020
US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump has lashed out again at the United Nation's health body World Health Organization (WHO) by labelling it a "puppet of China".
"They're a puppet of China, they're China-centric to put it nicer," he said at the White House on Monday.
Trump said the United States pays around US$450 million annually to the World Health Organization (WHO), the largest contribution of any country. Plans are being crafted to slash this because "we're not treated right".
"They gave us a lot of bad advice," he said of the WHO.
Trump also threatened to permanently freeze US funding to the WHO unless "substantive improvements" were made in the next 30 days.
Washington suspended funding to the WHO in mid-April, accusing it of being too close to Beijing and covering up and mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Trump tweeted images of a letter he sent to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the letter was "self-explanatory."
In the letter, Trump lists what he says are examples of the WHO's shortcomings in managing the pandemic, including ignoring early reports of the emergence of the virus, and being too close to China.
"It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world. The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China," Trump said in the letter.
"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," he said. - AFP, BBC