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Trump halts funding to World Health Organization, consider alternative to global health body

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C., U.S. on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Trump said he instructed his administration to temporarily halt funding to the World Health Organization, following up his claims that the international body has failed to share information about the coronavirus pandemic. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/CNP/Bloomberg

 

President Donald Trump Tuesday said the United States will stop funding the World Health Organization until his administration completes a review of the group’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today, I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump said  at a press conference in Washington, DC.

The US gives the WHO $400 million to $500 million per year and “has a duty to insist upon full accountability,” Trump said. Trump said his administration will talk “with other countries and global health partners” about what to do with the US funding that would normally go to the WHO.

Meanwhile, aides to President Donald Trump are debating some potentially far-reaching moves to punish the World Health Organization in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, by trying to create an alternative institution, Per Second News gathered in DC.

Officials have begun drafting a letter that — if the decision is made — will tell officials at the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other institutions to try to route the money to existing alternative organizations.

Andrew Bremberg, a U.S. ambassador who is based in Geneva and deals with the United Nations and other international organizations, is among those pushing hardest for reforming the WHO.

Those pushing hardest for a suspension of funds or even a new alternative to the WHO are political appointees at the White House, including at the National Security Council.

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