During his White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will freeze its funding of the World Health Organization.
“Today, I am 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,” Pres. Trump told the nation.
Trump: Today, I am instructing made 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. pic.twitter.com/sJ9w3FUqCM
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) April 14, 2020
The World Health Organization is facing global scrutiny for its failures to prevent a pandemic. Meanwhile, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of WHO, was accused in 2017 of “covering up three cholera epidemics in his home country, Ethiopia, when he was health minister.” His overt support of China – from where the coronavirus pandemic emerged – was one of the driving factors that caused the Trump administration to pull U.S. funding from the organization.
"The world depends on the WHO to work with countries to ensure that accurate information about international health threats is shared in a timely manner and, if it's not, to independently tell the world the truth about what is happening. The W.H.O. failed in this basic duty." 2/ pic.twitter.com/OiQB3xi4aX
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 14, 2020
“The world depends on the WHO to work with countries to ensure that accurate information about international health threats is shared in a timely manner, and if it’s not, to independently tell the world the truth about what is happening,” said Pres. Trump. “The WHO failed in this basic duty.”
The President went into further detail about why he doesn’t trust the WHO.
“They told us when we put on our travel bans, a very strong travel ban, there was no need to do it, don’t do it. They actually fought us. The WHO’s reliance on China’s disclosures likely caused a 20-fold increase in cases worldwide and it may be much more than that,” he said. “You look all over the world, tremendous death and economic devastation because those tasked with protecting us by being truthful and transparent refused to do so.”
Last Tuesday, Trump accused the WHO of being “China-centric” and foreshadowed his move to cut funding.
“We’re going to put a hold on money to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it,” he said at the time.
The U.S. has provided the agency with $893 million during the WHO’s current two-year funding period. According to reports, that includes about $236 million in dues.
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Biden to lift sanctions on China in exchange for third promise to combat fentanyl
Reportedly President Joe Biden is making deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help improve anti-drug trafficking measures. China is one of the top fentanyl producers and distributors, culminating in a pandemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the United States.
The Biden administration will be lifting sanctions on a Chinese government ministry, in exchange for bolstering anti-drug trafficking measures, Bloomberg reported. “We’re hoping to see some progress on that issue this coming week,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, according to the New York Post. “That could then open the door to further cooperation on other issues where we aren’t just managing things, but we’re actually delivering tangible results.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation noted that should a deal materialize, it will be at least the third time that China has promised to get tough on fentanyl. In 2016, China agreed to increase counter-narcotics operations, and Xi again agreed to launch a crackdown in 2018. Nonetheless, China and Mexico are “the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States,” according to a 2020 DEA intelligence report.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.”
President Joe Biden and Xi are meeting for the first time in over a year during this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. Sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will crack down on Chinese companies manufacturing chemical precursors for fentanyl in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science, which the Commerce Department added to the Entity List in 2020 for “engaging in human rights violations and abuses” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
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