Trump WHO funding cut prompts criticism as virus spreads


This afternoon president trump said he is severing U. S. ties with the World Health Organization over the U. N. agencies handling of the corona virus pandemic 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 the president did not take questions during the roughly ten minutes long rose garden address which focused on China and here's global health correspondent Jason Beaubien was listening and he joins us now hi Jason hi Mary Louise prison trip has been threatening for months now to pull the US out what exactly did he say today about his reasons his primary complaint is that he says China's been covering up this outbreak and that that allowed it to spread all over the world he says the W. H. O. went along with these Chinese efforts to mislead the world and he says China has total control of the World Health Organization the speech blames China for the pandemic and accused the W. H. O. of being China's accomplice and that and do we know why now is there something he referred to that he says forced his hand to announce this today you know that's really unclear A. on may nineteenth he gave the WHO's thirty days to reformers said he was going to cut off funding to them entirely that was in the middle of the world health organization's main annual meeting well now it's only been ten days it was never clear exactly what the reforms were that he was asking for WHO's even expressed that they aren't clear on what are the reforms that he's looking for from them it has been on my mind is does the president actually have the authority to unilaterally decide I am terminating this relationship with the world health organization that also isn't entirely clear I you know he has pulled out of several other U. N. agencies he pulled out of UNESCO the cultural arm of the U. N. in twenty seventeen he pulled out of UNHCR the UN human rights council in twenty eighteen the WHO's somewhat different it's a member organization it's sort of like the U. N. itself Congress authorized the west to join the World Health Organization back in nineteen forty six after World War two and the WHO's charter it actually doesn't have an exit clause most governments are trying to get in rather than get out Taiwan for instance has been lobbying very hard and that has been something that the trump administration has really argued for is Taiwan's involvement in the WHL but trump however certainly can terminate U. S. funding to W. H. O. U. S. is the largest funder of the World Health Organization he can tell scientists at the CDC to stop working with the agency he can pull out of any trials that might be going on for for vaccines are testing of pharmaceuticals to to potentially treat Kovin yes he absolutely has the authority to do that just to step back for a second I mention this was during a big ten minute event that was mostly focused on China what more do we know about this disagreement with the World Health Organization is it is it coincidence that he made this announcement while he was talking about China yeah it is I don't think it's a coincidence at all the speech in the rose garden listed a lot of trump's grievances with China at the World Trade Organization was one of them Hong Kong trade the coronavirus and regarding the covert pandemic he blames China why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China it went no where else it didn't go to Beijing it went nowhere else but they allow them to freely travel throughout the world including Europe and the United States I have to point out that this is simply not true China had cases that spread to every province and territory in China including Beijing yeah and fact check another thing is there a idents that the W. H. O. was working with China to cover up the severity of the outbreak there really is no evidence of that this seems to get at the trump administration's misunderstanding of the WHO's role they have no authority to go into another country and tell that country what to do or force them to disclose anything the W. H. O. simply reports what China or any other member station reports to them and the W. H. O. says they have raised the alarm early and often about this

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