The spike in deaths due to Coronavirus outbreak in the US has prompted President Donald Trump to change his thinking on the World Health Organization (WHO). In late February, he had showered praises on it for “working hard and very smart.” Suddenly, he has had a change of heart because of the soaring death toll due to coronavirus. He has accused the world body of failing in its “basic duty.” He goes to the extent of saying that the WHO was promoting “disinformation” from china. His words at a briefing on April 14 were - “Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess [its] role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

The Time interprets this move of the President as another stunning turnaround.

His critics look at this as an example of transferring the blame. On January 30, the WHO had indicated that the pandemic was in the category of a public health emergency. However, the President appeared to have attached little importance to it and continued to refer to coronavirus as “the flu” in several of his subsequent rallies.

The WHO is a convenient coronavirus scapegoat for Trump

The decision to stop funding theWorld Health Organization has not gone down well with many.

One of them is U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. The Time quotes his statement, where he said this is “not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the [WHO] or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.” In late January, the White House economic advisor had sounded the warning.

He had cautioned the President on the subject. He had made a mention of the probable loss of lives that could derail the national economy and the need to implement containment measures on immediate priority.

Time goes on to add that a majority of public health professionals feel the WHO has to undergo reforms.

The U.N. agency came into being in 1949 and has a sprawling global mandate. The U.S. is its largest single donor. It contributed a considerable amount in 2019, and the removal of this funding could affect its working. The US President has already taken a decision on the subject, and it looks like the WHO would have to arrange financing from alternate sources to carry on its humanitarian activities.

Coronavirus in America and involvement of the WHO

According to Independent UK, the US President has apparently ignored warnings from his own intelligence agencies regarding the ill effects of coronavirus. The result is the failure of the administration to act in time to reduce the damages.

Donald Trump has accused the WHO of “opposing travel bans” and making misleading statements about the virus.

In his words - “the WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable.” The President indicated that his administration would reallocate the funding earmarked for the WHO without elaborating further. He went on to add that Washington sends the WHO “$400m to $500m” each year. However, budget documents indicate the amount to be approximately $100m annually. Incidentally, the US is the most significant financial contributor to the WHO behind China. Senior WHO leaders did not want to be drawn into any controversy. In their opinion, the world is in the midst of a pandemic, and it is not the appropriate time for a fight over funding.

The US is trying to come to terms with coronavirus

In March, US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency because of coronavirus.

The World Health Organization had apparently sounded the alarm much earlier once the threat kept spreading from China and into Europe. Coronavirus is highly contagious, the world coined new words like social distancing, and the work-from-home culture took over. In fact, life has come to a virtual standstill, and the US became the first country to surpass 100,000 cases. The number of deaths are on the rise, and efforts are on to evolve a cure on top priority.

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