Trump Suspends Funding To World Health Organization, Pelosi Calls Move ‘Dangerous’ & ‘Illegal’
President Donald Trump is freezing funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) while a review is conducted.
Trump said Tuesday the review would look into the WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus,” which has now affected more than two million people worldwide.
The U.S. is the WHO’s largest donor, sending $400 million to $500 million to the WHO each year. Trump noted that China only “contributes roughly $40 million.”
“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.
His decision to suspend funding amid the coronavirus pandemic was met with harsh criticism.
“I am distressed by the decision to withhold critically needed U.S. funding for the World Health Organization, especially during an international pandemic,” former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement Wednesday. Carter added that WHO “is the only international organization capable of leading the effort to control this virus.”
The head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the U.S. has been “a longstanding and generous friend to WHO and we hope it will continue to be so.”
“COVID-19 does not discriminate between rich nations and poor, large nations and small,” he continued. “This is a time for all of us to be united in our common struggle against a common threat, a dangerous enemy. When we’re divided, the virus exploits the cracks between us.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on Twitter, claiming Trump “doesn’t have the authority” to suspend WHO funding and that his decision to freeze funds is similar to his decision to freeze aid to Ukraine, an issue that ultimately led to his impeachment in December.
“WHO is on the front lines of this pandemic, providing advice, training, and equipment crucial to saving lives—including Americans,'” Clinton tweeted. “Cutting their funding is not only dangerous—Trump doesn’t have the authority to do it. He should know: violating spending laws got him impeached.”
.@WHO is on the front lines of this pandemic, providing advice, training, and equipment crucial to saving lives—including Americans’.
Cutting their funding is not only dangerous—Trump doesn’t have the authority to do it. He should know: violating spending laws got him impeached.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 15, 2020
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) echoed Clinton’s sentiments about Trump not having the authority to suspend funding, announcing her intent to challenge the decision.
“This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged,” she said.