On Saturday, United States President Donald Trump announced that his administration was considering numerous proposals about restoring funding for the World Health Organization. Trump has also specified that no final decision had been made and that US funding for the agency remained frozen.
Trump halted funding for the WHO on April 14 after accusing the organization of being “China-centric.” However, the WHO has repeatedly denied acting in a biased and nontransparent manner and have since asked other countries to fill in the financing gaps in order to help support its response to the pandemic.
Trump announced a travel ban from China on January 31, a month after the disease was known to be spreading throughout China and a day after the WHO declared a global health emergency.
Trump is now considering multiple proposals for restoring funding for the WHO with one option being to match China’s assessed financial contribution. This would decrease US funding for the organization to about 10% of its previous level.
Prior to the funding freeze, the US was WHO’s main donor. According to NPR though, the US was already nearly US$200 million behind on payments to the WHO when Trump announced he would discontinue future contributions.
In a tweet posted on May 16, Trump questioned and compared the different levels of funding between the US and China asking, “Why is it that China, for decades, and with a population much bigger than ours, is paying a tiny fraction of $’s to The World Health Organization, The United Nations and, worst of all, The World Trade Organization, where they are considered a so-called “developing country” and are therefore given massive advantages over The United States, and everyone else? Prior to the Plague floating in from China, our Economy was blowing everybody away, the best of any country, EVER. We will be there again, and soon!”
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