President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum to the World Health Organization (WHO) Monday night, telling the United Nations organization to reform within “the next 30 days” or lose U.S. funding.
Trump put a screenshot of the message on his Twitter account, saying, “This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros [Adhanom Ghebreyesus] of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory!”
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! pic.twitter.com/pF2kzPUpDv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
“I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests,” the letter says.
Trump froze U.S. funding to the organization, which is part of the United Nations, in mid-April.
Trump writes that “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.”
The president said that his administration is already in discussions with WHO on “how to reform the organization “but action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste.” China is widely believed to have groomed Tedros for the top job at WHO and assisted his getting it.
A Friday report on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” indicated that Trump had decided to resume funding of WHO, but at the same level that China currently contributes. But that was only one option that the president was assessing, as he indicated in a Twitter reply to Fox Business News host Lou Dobbs on Saturday.
“The World Health Organization has repeatedly made claims about the coronavirus that was either grossly inaccurate or misleading,” Trump notes in the letter, specifically mentioning early claims that the virus was not transmittable from human to human. His letter goes through a variety of issues that have led to criticism of WHO throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“Throughout this crisis, the World Health Organization has been curiously insistent on praising China for its alleged ‘transparency,’” Trump insists. “You have consistently joined in these tributes, notwithstanding that China has been anything but transparent.”
“Even now China continues to undermine the International Health Regulations by refusing to share accurate and timely data, viral samples and isolates, and by withholding vital information about the virus and its origins,” the president continued. “China continues to deny international access to its scientists and relevant facilities, all while casting blame widely and recklessly and censoring its own experts.”