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Trump’s Ultimatum to the WHO, threatening to withdraw membership

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The US President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut U.S. funding to the World Health Organization and “reconsider” membership if the WHO does not adopt “major substantive improvements” within 30 days.

Trump’s demands, made in a letter Tuesday to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, are an escalation of his attacks on the organization.

He accused the WHO of “repeated missteps” during the CoronaVirus pandemic and demanded it “demonstrate independence” from China.

“My administration has already started discussions with you on how to reform the organization. But action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste”

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“My administration has already started discussions with you on how to reform the organization. But action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste”, Trump wrote in his ultimatum, which comes about a month after he froze WHO funding, pending a formal investigation into the international health body and its CoronaVirus response.

The letter lists Trump’s allegations that the United Nations agency missed warning signs of the virus’s spread, then blithely accepted China’s lack of transparency over the outbreak.

The WHO initially circulated preliminary Chinese claims that there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the CoronaVirus.

Trump wrote a letter to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus threatening to pull the US out on the UN body
Trump wrote a letter to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus threatening to pull the US out on the UN body
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/ AFP

In his letter, Trump did not outline specific actions the WHO needs to take to satisfy his demands. Monday, Trump called the U.N. health body a “puppet of China.”

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said Trump’s letter was “smearing and slandering China’s efforts in epidemic prevention.” He called it a Trump administration attempt “to shift responsibility in its own incompetence in handling the epidemic.”

The WHO said in a statement it was “considering the contents” of Trump’s letter, but otherwise, it had no comment.

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