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Fed-up with the World Health Organization’s refusal to enact any meaningful reforms amid the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump announced an immediate termination to the United States’ relationship with the discredited organization.
“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engage with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said at a White House briefing Friday.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs.”
Watch the full briefing below:
The move came a month and a half after Trump temporarily froze funding to the organization for “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
Weeks later in mid-May, the president sent a letter to WHO director Tedros Adhanom threatening to make the freeze permanent unless the organization addressed a bullet-point list of shortcomings that Trump argued were responsible for the coronavirus blowing up globally.
“By the time you finally declared the virus a pandemic on March 11, 2020, it had killed more than 4,000 people and infected more than 100,000 people in at least 114 countries,” the president wrote.
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
During the presser Friday, the president reiterated some of these same points.
“China’s cover-up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world, instigating a global pandemic that has cost more than 100,000 American lives and over a million lives worldwide,” he said.
“Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and pressured the world health organization to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.”
And the WHO complied like a pious son:
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🇨🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
“Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted all around the globe,” the president continued. “They strongly recommended against me doing the early ban from China, but I did it anyway, and was proven to be 100% correct.”
“China has total control over the World Health Organization, despite only paying $40 million per year, compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year.”
Days after the president instituted a travel ban on China — a ban that was later praised by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci — Tedros slammed the notion of using travel bans amid the pandemic, saying there was “no reason for panic and fear” and accusing such bans of causing “fear and stigma.”
At every step of the pandemic, the WHO has been dead wrong. Why? Because of “inherent structural problems,” for one.
“[I]nherent structural problems at the WHO do make the organization vulnerable to misinformation and political influence, especially at a moment when China has invested considerable resources cultivating influence in international organizations whose value the Trump administration has questioned,” The Atlantic reported last month.
Speaking with Fox News in March, Dr. Attila Hertelendy, a Florida-based expert in biomedicine, also pointed to political correctness and simple bureaucracy.
“[WHO] has been trying to be politically correct by underestimating the extent of the threat. They lost some credibility when they stated in late January that the global risk assessment was moderate,” she said.
“For an international body that people (and) governments and the business community looks to for advice, they are simply too slow, burdened by bureaucracy and political correctness. They have a great staff working for them, and many of my colleagues are advisors, they just need to listen to them and take action swiftly.”
But they didn’t, and it’s time to pay the piper. As the president himself wrote in a tweet early last month, “The W.H.O. really blew it.”
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
Despite all the clear-cut, indisputable facts concerning the World Health Organization and its appalling lack of reliability, members of the left responded to Trump’s announcement Friday by predictably crying foul, with some even calling him a dictator for disassociating from an organization that bows down to actual dictators.
Look at the irrationality below (*Language warning):
Leaving the World Health Organization in the middle of a pandemic because he wants to spread propaganda while his people die instead of practicing science.
This is some crazy dictator shit. https://t.co/HSK8LcdouV
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) May 29, 2020
Trump terminated our relationship with the World Health Organization and blasted China because, like any banana republic dictator, he manufactures and demonizes external enemies to distract us from internal failures like 100,000 dead, 40 million jobless, and our nation in flames.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) May 29, 2020
So now @realDonaldTrump has pulled out of the World Health Organization. During a global pandemic. Of all the idiotic decisions he has made, this has to rank among the dumbest. No wonder his college professor said he was the stupidest student he ever taught.
— William C Eacho (@AmbEacho) May 30, 2020
Terminating relationship with the @WHO in the middle of a pandemic is one of the most asinine US foreign policy decisions imaginable.
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) May 29, 2020
President Trump’s decision to leave the @WHO during a global pandemic alienates our allies, undermines our global leadership, and threatens the health of the American people. Trump needs to reverse this reckless decision immediately. https://t.co/nQpRuJm4Q5
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 29, 2020
The facts don’t back the narrative they’re pushing, but in this increasingly radicalized, partisan world, it appears facts just don’t matter anymore.
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