Foreign Policy

WHO Keynote Speaker: Global Pandemic Expert Xi Jinping

Trump will permanently end WHO funding if organization doesn't break from its China kowtowing.

Thomas Gallatin · May 19, 2020

On Monday, President Donald Trump sent a scathing letter to the head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warning him that the U.S. would permanently withhold its WHO funding if the UN’s health organization didn’t make serious changes and break from its China appeasement. “It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world,” Trump wrote. “The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China.”

Trump’s letter follows his announcement in April that the U.S. would withhold its $400-$500 million in annual funding to the UN organization as his administration conducts an investigation of the WHO’s failures in response to the China Virus global pandemic. Trump’s letter featured a bulleted list of instances in which the WHO failed to abide by agreed-upon international standards, such as not holding China accountable for not following health regulations requiring countries to report “risk of a health emergency within 24 hours.” In fact, Trump noted, “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.”

Meanwhile, the WHO invited the leading expert in spreading a global pandemic, Chinese Communist Party President Xi Jinping, to speak at its annual oversight convention. Trump turned down a speaking invitation, citing the WHO’s ongoing “China-centric” behavior. A White House official explained, “If the WHO had done its job, and not enabled China’s refusal to be transparent, the world would likely be in a very different place right now. Now is the time for answers and transparency, not a photo opportunity aimed at conveying a false sense of solidarity.”

Xi pushed back against Trump’s accusations, absurdly claiming, “All along, we have acted with openness, transparency, and responsibility. We have provided information to the WHO and the relevant countries in a most timely fashion.” Yet China still refuses to allow international health officials to investigate the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan.

Finally, in a perfect demonstration of Trump’s charge of the WHO being little other than China’s puppet, guess which nation has been excluded from the WHO conference? The one nation that notably has had the earliest and most effective response to the pandemic, Taiwan. Clearly, the WHO is still kowtowing to Beijing.

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