US President Donald Trump on Tuesday took to task the World Health Organisation, questioning as to why had the apex health body advised the American authorities to keep the country's border open to China after the coronavirus first surfaced there.
"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?" the US President said in a tweet.
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
As per the WHO's website, the United States was the organisation's largest voluntary donor, followed by South Korea and Australia. China, which has been accused of being in cahoots with the WHO in hiding the extent of the outbreak in initial stages, features nowhere in the list of agency's top donors. Many Western governments have alleged that the cover-up by China in the initial stages resulted in the loss of crucial time to ramp up the health infrastructure of various countries.
While this is the second time that the US President has been critical of the WHO, Trump's comments on Tuesday mark first instance of him attacking the body unprompted.
In March, Trump had said that the world's apex health body had "very much" sided with China on coronavirus crisis, asserting that many people are unhappy with the global health agency and feel that "it's been very unfair".
President Trump was responding to a question on allegations by Republican Senator Marco Rubio that the World Health Organization (WHO) showed "favouritism" to China.
Congressman Michael McCaul, ranking member on the House Foreign Relations Committee, has questioned the integrity of the WHO's director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying "that there were several red flags in his past with respect to his relationship with China."
"It (WHO) has been very very much sided with China. A lot of people are not happy about it," Trump told reporters at a White House news conference on Wednesday.
Trump was asked if he agreed that the WHO showed favouritism and the US should re-explore its relationship with the health agency once the dust settles.
"I think there is certainly a lot of talk that it's been very unfair. I think that a lot of people feel that it's been very unfair," Trump had replied.
(with PTI inputs)