UNITED STATES— President Donald Trump announced on Friday, May 29, that he will cut ties between the United States and the World Health Organization. He did so during a ten-minute briefing in the White House Rose Garden centered around international relations.
As an agency of the United Nations, the World Health Organization functions to eradicate diseases. President Trump has criticized the WHO for not better addressing and preventing the prevailing coronavirus pandemic. He attributed the WHO’s initial failure to act to pressure from the Chinese government. In Early May, Trump had threatened to cut off U.S. funding to the WHO, which already suffers from immediate financial allocation.
In the earlier stages of the outbreak, the WHO relied heavily on the alleged inaccurate information China provided on COVID-19. The director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, quoted statements made by the Chinese government verbatim. He also praised China for an assiduous response to the outbreak. The Chinese government then relied on the WHO’s approval to justify their management of COVID-19 and deny the allegations made by Trump.
“China has total control over the World Health Organization… 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,” said Trump.
In the briefing, President Trump did not address the coronavirus death toll in America or the death of George Floyd and the protests that erupted from it.