United States President Donald Trump and his administration announced Friday he is severing ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) for its failure to carry out reforms and said the annual contribution of $450 million will be forwarded to other prganizations around the world.
In a twin decision, he also mentioned that he will be revoking Hong Kong's special status and treat it on par with Mainland China and prevent certain students from China from enrolling in US universities and colleges.
This statement of Trump comes after China imposed a controversial national security law on Hong Kong that many critics have said will pose restrictions on Hong Kong’s freedom. Because the WHO has resisted implementing reforms that his administration sought in the wake of the pandemic, Trump said, "we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."
It's not clear how that would work. For starters, Congress approves funding for WHO, and lawmakers will likely push back against Trump's decision to withdraw from the Geneva-based organization. And even Trump's secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has conceded the WHO does vital work in eradicating polio and other diseases in a host of low-income countries. Other global health groups are probably not going to be able to fill that void, even with a new injection of U.S. cash.
Critics said Trump's WHO announcement was yet another attempt to deflect blame from his own mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak – and one that would end up hurting the U.S.