World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said that USA was still a member of the WHO. USA President Donald Trump had recently announced that he was severing all ties with WHO. Dr. Tedros' response suggests that the USA may not have severed all ties yet.
Dr Tedros was addressing global media through online press conference on Covid-19.
"Yes, the USA is still a member of the WHO, thank you," said Dr Tedros as he responded to a direct question in this regard. Interestingly, he chose to keep his answer very brief and avoided any comment further.
Relations between USA and WHO have been rocky recently especially after Donald Trump accused the agency of being soft on China. Trump has accused WHO of not pressing China enough to reveal reason of coronavirus pandemic. Trump had very strong words for WHO as he announced USA's exit from the agency on May 30.
"China's cover up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world, instigating a global pandemic that has cost 100 thousand American lives and over a million lives worldwide," said Trump.
"Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligation to the World Health Organisation and pressured the World Health Organisation to mislead the world," he added.
He further said that China only pays USD 40 million to WHO compared to USD 450 million per year share borne by the US but has "total control" over WHO.
Immediately after saying that the US would terminate relations with WHO, Trump added that US will "redirect funds to other worldwide and deserving, urgent, global public health needs".
WHO on the other hand, has not been vocal about the issue. Even on Monday, Dr Tedros avoided saying anything more other than confirming that the US was still a member of the WHO.