President Trump has been vocal about his disapproval of how the World Health Organization has handled the COVID-19 pandemic and bowed down to China. Trump has previously announced he would withhold funding to the organization, but Friday he went a step further. At a press conference, Trump said, “because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will today be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs.”
Last month Trump spoke of freezing U.S. funds to the WHO which would become permanent if the organization did not make “major substantive reforms.” Trump and critics specifically fault the WHO for being pro-China and blamed its officials for praising Chinese ‘transparency.’ Specifically, it ignored “warnings about the virus from Taiwan and its repetition of Chinese claims that COVID-19 could not be spread from person-to-person. Trump has also pointed to opposition from WHO officials to his decision to place a travel ban on China in the initial days of the crisis” reported Fox News.
“Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and pressured the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities,” said Trump. “Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted across the globe” he added.
Trump is also taking aim at China who is “smothering” Hong Kong’s freedoms after passing the national security law that criminalizes pro-democracy movements and demonstrations. Trump will “suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who we have identified as a potential security risk.”
“The rest of the world was electrified by a sense of optimism that Hong Kong was a glimpse of China’s future, not that Hong Kong would grow into a reflection of China’s past” Trump stated. Therefore, he announced the “State Department’s travel advisory for Hong Kong would be revised to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese. Additionally, the U.S. is revoking Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory, and taking steps to sanction officials involved in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy” reported Fox News.