President Donald Trump has been adamant that he wanted to see overwhelming reforms by the World Health Organization (WHO) if it wanted continued support from the United States.
After failing to meet his demands, the president has announced that he is “terminating” the relationship between the WHO and the U.S.
“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,” Trump said, Fox News reported.
Trump also tore into China over the course of his remarks, slamming the communist nations’ conduct on a number of fronts including trade, the coronavirus, and its recent crackdown on Hong Kong.
“The world is now suffering as a result of the misfeasance of the Chinese government,” Trump 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,” he said. “Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted across the globe.”
Targeting the Chinese directly, Trump said he will issue a proclamation to secure university research and to “suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who we have identified as a potential security risk.”
“The rest of the world was electrified by a sense of optimism that Hong Kong was a glimpse of China’s future,” he said, “not that Hong Kong would grow into a reflection of China’s past.”
The World Health Assembly was officially recognized by the United States in 1948 and we have been part of the organization since then.
If Trump were to officially withdraw the U.S. from the WHO, it would reportedly make him the first American president to do so.
Here’s more from Just Security on what’s required to remove the U.S. from the WHO:
At this moment, it does not appear that Trump has yet sent the WHO Director General any formal notice of withdrawal. But under these two congressional conditions, first, the United States remains obliged to meet its financial obligations to the WHO in full for the current fiscal year.
Second, the United States may not legally withdraw from the WHO Constitution at the earliest one year until at least from the date that Trump sends a formal withdrawal notice.
Should Trump be reelected, the United States would still be legally obliged to pay the balance of its 2020 assessed contribution: roughly $60 million, to fulfill one of the two congressional conditions. For 2020, the assessed contribution is about $120 million, of which the United States has already paid half. That is due not only to the Joint Resolution but also to the existence of congressionally approved funds for the WHO.
Back in April, Trump announced the halt in funding earlier this month, arguing he did not want to send taxpayer money to WHO after their “botched effort” in handling the pandemic and cozy relationship with China, where the coronavirus originated.
“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death,” Trump said.
Leading U.S. health officials have echoed Trump’s claim, saying foreign nations would have been better prepared to deal with the pandemic had China and world health leaders been more transparent during the early days of the outbreak.