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  • Trump ignored reports from U.S. intelligence agencies starting in January and February that warned of the scale and danger of the new coronavirus, according to the Washington Post.

    Trump ignored reports from U.S. intelligence agencies starting in January and February that warned of the scale and danger of the new coronavirus, according to the Washington Post. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 April 2020
Opinion

The U.S. is the biggest overall donor to the Geneva-based WHO, contributing more than US$400 million in 2019, roughly 15 percent of its budget.

United States President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that his country will halt funding to the World Health Organization while his administration reviews the agency's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to access the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump told a news conference at the White House, accusing that the agency “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.”

The U.S. is the biggest overall donor to the Geneva-based WHO, contributing more than US$400 million in 2019, roughly 15 percent of its budget.

Trump criticized the agency for its alleged pro-China stance as well as attacking it for opposing early travel restrictions to China, although Trump himself often hailed the Chinese government’s response until a few weeks ago.

Days after China informed WHO about cases of pneumonia of unknown origin on Dec. 31, the agency sent an alert to all member states on Jan. 5, its top emergency expert Dr. Mike Ryan said.

Back in March, the Washington Post informed that Trump ignored reports from U.S. intelligence agencies starting in January and February that warned of the scale and danger of the new coronavirus outbreak in China.

“Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” a U.S. official who had access to intelligence reporting said. “The system was blinking red.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to register thousands of cases every day. As of Monday, the country has over 610,000 COVID-19 patients and over 25,000 deaths. 

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