Coronavirus review: Trump temporarily halts US funding for WHO

Coronavirus Review: Trump temporarily halts US funding for WHO

On April 14, President Donald Trump announced U.S. funding suspensions for the World Health Organization (WHO) while the agency reviews its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO advised the other countries who will attempt to slowly lift lockdown measures that the coronavirus might resurface.

With the recent news that European countries are gradually lifting lockdown measures, and China reportedly to have the highest cases of COVID-19, it seems that the U.S. has lost its faith in WHO.

At a White House press conference, President Donald Trump announces:

“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.”

He further criticized the international agency’s response to the outbreak because of its poor decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.

Trump needs support from Congress

Typically, the president does not have the authority to independently redirect the funding since it’s the job of Congress to manage the appropriated funds.

Coronavirus Review: Trump temporarily halts US funding for WHO

One possibility for this to happen is Trump might use powers under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. Under this statute, the president may propose to withhold congressional funds, along with their approval within 45 days.

Without its approval, the funds must be returned to their original, congressionally mandated purpose after 45 days.

President Trump also expressed that he has had problems with WHO and said the administration will conduct a “thorough” investigation that should last 60 to 90 days.

Taiwan doing better than WHO

Taiwan has been getting a lot of praise from all around the world, considering that it’s not a member of WHO.

Taiwan is showing dominance after weeks of banning the export of face masks to ensure the domestic supply. The government announced on April 1 that it would donate 10 million masks to the United States, Italy, Spain, plus nine other European countries, as well as smaller nations who have diplomatic ties with the island.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen expressed support for the other countries in a tweet:

WHO: Adapt to the ‘new normal’

As a lot of countries are slowly planning to lift their lockdown measures, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised each government to assess their own situation.

He further discussed this by going through a checklist that the United Nations health agency provided:

  • First, coronavirus transmission must be controlled.
  • Second, health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate, and treat every case and every contact.
  • Third, outbreak risks are minimized in special settings such as health facilities and nursing homes.
  • Fourth, preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools, and other essential places.
  • Fifth, management of importation risks.
  • Sixth, communities are fully educated, engaged, and empowered to adjust to the “new norm.”

WHO and the rest of the world could learn a thing or two from Taiwan as the battle for the coronavirus continues.

Images courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr, forcal35/Pixabay

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