Trump Threatening To Withhold Funds For W.H.O.


While the Coronavirus pandemic runs rampant across the globe, President Donald Trump has begun threatening to withhold U.S. funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), which is a joint global venture. Trump’s laughably outlandish defense for his threat is a claim that the WHO was supposedly in cahoots with China and failed to adequately forewarn and prepare other countries of the incoming Coronavirus disaster. To suggest, however, that Trump himself took the virus seriously when even the WHO did not is completely detached from reality. The president appears to be desperately searching for a scapegoat for his administration’s virus response failures.

Trump, stunningly, told reporters this Tuesday:

‘They missed the call. They could have called it months earlier. They would have known, and they should have known, and they probably did know. We’re going to be looking into that very carefully, and 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 not good.’

The WHO does not “call every shot wrong.” Donald Trump himself claimed that concern about the Coronavirus was a hoax at a rally at the end of February. On numerous other occasions, Trump’s rhetoric about the virus included claims like the baseless idea that the Coronavirus would soon disappear from the U.S. like a “miracle” and the total case count would wind down to zero. None of that was true, Trump made it up — and now he’s trying to blame the WHO, as if part of their job description includes personal crisis response management for the incompetent buffoons in the White House.

Trump’s justification was, as he put it, that the organization supposedly “actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it,” adding:

‘And they were wrong. They’ve been wrong about a lot of things. They had a lot of information early, and they didn’t — they seemed to be very China-centric. We have to look into it.’

That’s not actually entirely true. The WHO issued broad caution against rash travel bans, which had already been imposed in many other countries around the world. They did not specifically single out Trump and his policies — which weren’t even that effective, considering tens of thousands of people flew to the U.S. from China after his much ado about nothing travel ban’s implementation.

Asked a follow-up question about his threats this Tuesday, Trump insisted that the funding cut was only a consideration. As he put it:

‘I’m not going to say I’m going to do it. We will look at ending funding.’

The U.S. currently sends the WHO around $122 million a year, the largest of any individual country. Trump’s latest budget proposal already included the proposal to slash that figure down to just about $58 million a year. That proposal is just that, a proposal, and it doesn’t necessarily reflect the final budget work from Congress.