In 2018, the World Health Organization spent a whopping $192 million on travel expenses, often breaking their own rules by flying business class.
“WHO needs to get its own house in order to legitimately go to the international community saying, ‘We need more money for Ebola,’” said Sophie Harman, in 2019, reports the New York Post. Harman, a global health professor at Queen Mary University in London was concerned that unless the WHO could cut its expenses, its credibility was at stake, which would make it hard for donors to give money in a crisis.
That was last year before the CCP Virus surfaced and did indeed become a world crisis.
Now, this year President Trump has drastically cut U.S. funding to WHO after the WHO’s mismanagement and coverup of the CCP Virus led to thousands of deaths worldwide. “We have deep concerns over whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible,” the president said.
WHO has an annual budget of around $2 billion, this mostly comes from taxpayer-funded contributions from member countries. The United States is WHO’s biggest contributor, and in previous years has given between $200 and $400 million.
“Today, I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” said the president at a daily White House briefing on April 14.
“One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations” that he imposed early on in the outbreak. “Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel from China saving untold numbers of lives,” the president said.
The United States has the largest number of CCP Virus infections, with 692,169 cases. That number would have been many times bigger had the president not gone against the WHO decision to allow travelers from China to enter other countries, bringing the virus with them.
Worldwide, the virus has so far infected 2,224,426 people.
“The United States of America has been a long-standing and generous friend of the WHO, and we hope it will continue to be so,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference. “We regret the decision of the president of the United States to order a halt in the funding to the WHO.”
The United States donates 10 times the amount China gives to the WHO. It’s not the first time the WHO has been under scrutiny. In 2009 it was criticized for declaring a swine flu pandemic too early—it was suspected it acted under pressure from pharmaceutical companies. Then again, in 2014 it was accused of holding back from declaring the West African Ebola outbreak an emergency.
China blocked Taiwan from joining the WHO, and it is left out of any WHO briefings, however, its expertise in controlling the spread of the virus is vital for the rest of the world. Taiwan’s vigorous public health measures have kept numbers extremely low, without any major shutdowns. The number of infections in Taiwan as of April is only 309.