Editor’s note: This piece has been updated with President Trump’s clarification on his initial comments that the U.S. would be withholding funding from the WHO
President Donald Trump appeared to announce the U.S. would be withholding funding from the WHO at a Tuesday press briefing before walking back the statement minutes later.
The WHO has been widely criticized for parroting propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party during the early days of coronavirus outbreaks in Wuhan and the greater Hubei province. The U.S. contributes far more to the WHO than any other country annually, donating more than $400 million in 2017 compared to China’s $10 million. (RELATED: The CIA Is Trying To Find China’s Real Coronavirus Numbers)
“We’re gonna put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re gonna put a very powerful hold on it,” he said initially.
He denied the action minutes later in a response to a reporter’s question, however.
“No, maybe not,” he said. “I’m not saying I’m going to do it, but we’re going to look at it.”
His second statement mirrored Trump’s position on Twitter earlier in the day that the U.S. would be looking closely at the WHO’s funding. (RELATED: White House Anticipates Between 100,000 And 240,000 Coronavirus Deaths)
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
Trump has not announced how a potential freeze would occur or when.