On Tuesday night, the United States President Donald Trump said that he is halting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) while his administration reviews the UN agency’s handling of the coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish).
Trump claimed the outbreak could have been contained at its source and that lives could have been saved had the United Nations (UN) health agency done a better job investigating credible reports from sources in China's Wuhan province, where the virus was first identified in December.
"The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable," Trump told in a White House news conference.
“We have not been treated properly,” Trump said, as he announced a suspension period of 60 to 90 days for US funding.
President @realDonaldTrump is halting funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess WHO's role in mismanaging the Coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/jTrEf4WWj0— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 14, 2020
After Trump spoke, UN Secretary General António Guterres defended the health body without directly criticizing its largest donor. He said it is “not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.”
The biennial budget for the WHO is about $6 billion, which comes from member countries around the world. In 2019, the last year for which figures were available, the United States contributed about $553 million.