WASHINGTON, April 8 - President Donald Trump has threatened to put a �very powerful� hold on US� funding to the World Health Organization, accusing the UN agency of being �very China centric� and criticising it for having �missed the call� in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump slammed the global health agency for its early guidance aimed at countering the international spread of the coronavirus.
�We�re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We�re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we�re going to see. It�s a great thing if it works. But when they call every shot wrong, that�s no good,� Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on Tuesday.
The Geneva-headquartered World Health Organization (WHO), receives vast amounts of money from the United States.
�We pay for a majority or the biggest portion of their money. They actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it. They were wrong. They�ve been wrong about a lot of things. They had a lot of information early and they didn�t want to � they�re very � they seem to be very China centric,� Trump said.
The President said his administration was going to look into the US funding to the WHO.
�We give a majority of the money that they get, and it�s much more than the USD 58 million. USD 58 million is a small portion of what they�ve got over the years. Sometimes they get much more than that. Sometimes it�s for programmes that they�re doing, and-it�s much bigger numbers. If the programmes are good, that�s great as far as we�re concerned,� he said.
�But we want to look into it, WHO, because they called it wrong. They (WHO) called it wrong. They missed the call. They could�ve called it months earlier. They would have known and they should have known and they probably did know. So, we�ll be looking into that very carefully, and we�re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO,� Trump said.
Meanwhile, Senator Jim Risch, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for an independent investigation into the WHO�s handling of the COVID-19 response. � PTI