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Renewed Threat to WHO Funding

President Donald Trump has renewed his call to halt US funding for the World Health Organization, USA Today reports. In a letter to the WHO director-general, President Trump has threatened to end US funding of the international health agency permanently and withdraw the US from its membership if changes are not made quickly, it adds.

In April, President Trump said he would cease US funding of the WHO because he believed its response to the COVID-19 pandemic was "China-centric" and that it was responsible for "severely mismanaging and covering up" the pandemic. The New York Times in its coverage then noted that the US public largely disapproved of how President Trump was handling the crisis and that he might have been looking for someone else to take the blame.

In the new letter, which was also posted to Twitter, President Trump makes a series of accusations regarding what he views as WHO's mishandling of the pandemic. As USA Today points out, some of the accusations are substantiated, but others are not. Indeed, the Lancet has noted that the claim that WHO ignored reports published in early December in the journal about a new virus is not accurate, as its first reports about the virus came out toward the end of January.

Still, President Trump calls on the agency to "demonstrate independence" from China, though USA Today notes the letter did not provide specific on how the WHO can meet his demands.

The WHO says it has received the letter and is "considering the contents."