The White House Budget Office recently asked federal agencies to redirect funds that usually go to the World Health Organization (WHO) to other organizations doing similar work, such as the Red Cross or Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical organization dedicated to helping people with physical difficulties.
The order came after President Donald Trump’s administration announced earlier this week that funding to the WHO would be suspended for its mismanagement of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus pandemic.
The United States is one of the largest contributors to the WHO, providing between $400 million and $500 million annually, President Trump announced at a White House press conference April 14. A large part of those contributions were voluntary.
According to the New York Post, one administration official said efforts were under way to redirect “every single pot of money” from the WHO to other organizations, noting that there were many international aid agencies doing similar work.
He also noted that the White House Budget Office expects to send notifications to Congress once the plan to redirect funding has been finalized, although in some cases this is not necessary.
In addition to indications that the WHO is “China-centric” and in need of “significant reforms,” several Trump administration officials have questioned the way the international health body uses funds to finance travel as well as progressive policies such as climate change or abortion.
The Associated Press reported that the WHO’s annual travel budget is approximately $200 million, which has overshadowed many of the health programs. By 2016, it had spent $71 million to treat AIDS and hepatitis, $61 million for malaria, and $59 million for tuberculosis.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) referred to the Trump administration’s measure to suspend funding to the WHO as “illegal,” without giving any reason why the White House should not do so.
A senior Trump administration official justified the decision to limit funding to the international entity in order to redirect it to other similar organizations by saying, “If you pay a contractor to build you a house and the roof falls in, you don’t keep paying them, you find a new contractor,” according to the Daily Caller.
The way the WHO has been managing the pandemic crisis that has so far killed 156,064 people around the world, according to Worldmeters.info, has also raised concern among leaders of various G-7 countries, who have called for a “review and reform process” given the “lack of transparency and chronic mismanagement of the pandemic by the WHO.”