If the WHO does not commit to “significant improvements” within the next 30 days, he will also rethink the United States’ membership in the organization, a letter to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, which US President Donald Trump published on Monday evening on Twitter.
Trump initiated a pay freeze to WHO a month ago. The measure met with international criticism. Trump accuses the United Nations agency of grave failures to fight pandemics and China. In mid-April, he announced that his government would investigate the role WHO played in mismanagement in the corona crisis. This review confirmed many of his concerns, Trump said. In particular, it is about the “alarming lack” of independence from China.
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
“It is clear that the repeated mistakes that you and your organization have made in responding to the pandemic have made the world extremely expensive,” Trump said in his letter to Tedros.
The WHO must show independence from China. The government in Washington has already started talks about reforming the organization. “But it has to be acted quickly. We have no time to waste,” Trump said. He cannot allow American taxpayers’ money to go to an organization that serves non-American interests.
Trump shares responsibility for a large number of deaths in the crisis. The WHO’s mismanagement and reliance on information from China have dramatically worsened the epidemic and spread it globally, Trump’s accusation. He also repeatedly criticized the fact that the WHO had criticized an entry ban he had issued early on for foreign travelers from China. Critics in the US accuse Trump of looking for a scapegoat to distract from his hesitation at the start of the corona crisis.
According to the WHO, based in Geneva, less than a quarter of the budget consists of the mandatory contributions of the member states. The United States is the largest payer in this group: Nearly $116 million is due for 2020 and 2021, respectively.
China’s contribution to these two years is around $57 million each. China’s contributions have increased significantly in recent years: in 2018 and 2019. They were still at $37.9 million each, while they remained almost the same in the United States. The amount of membership fees depends on the population size and the prosperity of the country, according to the WHO.
In addition, there are voluntary contributions, which in the case of the USA totaled more than $656 million in 2018 and 2019, according to the WHO. China raised more than $10 million. Trump repeatedly cites that the United States pays between 400 and 500 million US dollars a year to the WHO, while China only pays around 40 million US dollars. If you take the mandatory and voluntary contributions together, you come to these values.
At the end of the letter, “It is my duty as President of the United States to inform you that if the world health information does not make any significant improvements in the next 30 days, I will keep the payment freeze and consider a final exit from the organization. “