President Donald Trump threatened to permanently end funding to the World Health Organization and reconsider the country’s membership in the global health body in a Monday letter criticizing the organization for its coronavirus response.
The letter, which Trump publicly revealed in a tweet Monday evening and pinned to his Twitter account, listed a number of criticisms directed at the WHO concerning its initial response to the novel coronavirus in the early days of the outbreak in China. The letter claimed the WHO “ignored credible reports of the virus” and accused the organization of acting in an obsequious manner toward the People’s Republic of China, including shunting Taiwanese health assessments and caving into pressure from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Trump administration had also made its displeasure with the WHO known during the organization’s annual meeting on Monday. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the World Health Organization “failed at its core mission,” adding that “at least one member country made a mockery of its transparency obligations,” an apparent reference to China.