US President Donald Trump has fired a fresh salvo at theWorld Health Organization, accusing its chief of siding with China and"politicising" the coronavirus pandemic while repeating his threat tofreeze the UN agency's funding.
Trump's allegation comes a day after the US Presidentthreatened to put a "very powerful" hold on US' funding to the WorldHealth Organization (WHO) and criticised it for having "missed thecall" in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump slammed the Geneva-based global health agency for itsearly guidance aimed at countering the international spread of the coronavirus
The president's fresh allegation comes after WHODirector-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus cautioned against politicisation ofCOVID-19 and said that such a move will only result in "many more bodybags".
"If you want to be exploited and if you want to havemany more body bags, then you [politicize the virus]. If you don't want manymore body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it," Ghebreyesus saidon Wednesday.
Hours later at the White House conference, Trump agreed thatthe COVID-19 should not be politicised, but alleged that the WHO chief wasdoing exactly that and was siding with China.
"When he (Ghebreyesus) says politicizing, he'spoliticizing. That shouldn't be. We spend USD 450 million last year, hundredsof millions in previous years. And they got to do better than that. They got todo better. When you talk about politics, I can't believe he's talking aboutpolitics look at the relationship they have to China," Trump said inresponse to a question.
"China spends USD 42 million. We spend USD 450 millionand everything seems to be China's way. That's not right. It's not fair to us.And honestly, it's not fair to the world," he said.
The United States is reevaluating its funding with respectto the WHO, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters at the White House.
"This is very consistent with what President Trump saidsince the beginning of his campaign. Organizations have to work," he added.
"They have to deliver the outcomes for which they wereintended and we need to make sure that only the WHO but every internationalorganization that we take taxpayer money and give it to them for the benefit ofAmerica we need to make sure it is delivering on this taxpayer dollars. The WHOis no different in that respect," the top American diplomat said.
Trump asserted that the WHO had to get its priority right.
"I think they have to get their priorities right andtheir priorities are that everybody has to be treated properly, every country.And it doesn't seem that way, he said.
"It doesn't seem that way so we are going to do studyinvestigation and we are going to make a determination as to what we are doing.In the meantime, we are holding back, we are going very unfair to the UnitedStates USD 452 million compared to USD 42 million that is to the World HealthOrganization. That is not good, that is not good, not fair," he said.
"Not fair at all and other countries as you know alsogave very substantially less than the United States and the world WHO got itwrong. I mean they got it very wrong, in many ways they were wrong. They alsominimised the threat very strongly and not good," Trump said.
In a statement, Senator Patrick Leahy said the WHO neededreform, just as it needs the strong support of the United States and othercountries in order to do its job.
"But such complaints also apply to President Trump, whoignored numerous warnings, downplayed the threat, discounted medical scienceand squandered valuable time that could have saved countless lives," theDemocratic Senator said.
"He continues to shamelessly and relentlessly try toshift responsibility for his disastrous response to the coronavirus to anyoneand everyone except himself. It's the American people who desperately need newleadership," Leahy said.
Senator Ted Cruz, in an interview to Houston's Michael BerryShow, alleged that if China behaved like a responsible government, this crisiscould have been averted.
It could have potentially been contained to the region wherethe outbreak occurred, but for months, they denied it, they suppressed it, hesaid.
"The World Health Organization acted as puppet and amouthpiece for the Chinese Communist government, insisting the coronavirus hadno risk of a human to human transmission… the World Health Organization washelping China spread that propaganda. Many of the deaths we have seen worldwideare a direct consequence of the Chinese coverup," Cruz said.