On Monday, President Donald Trump told the World Health Organization (WHO) that the United States would end all funding to the organization if it fails to make significant changes in the next 30 days.
Trump delivered a letter on his Twitter account to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warning that the nation would reconsider its membership with the WHO because it was China-centric and “so clearly not serving America’s interests.”
The letter said, “It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world.”
Trump also claimed that the WHO “consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal.”
However, the medical journal shot back to the allegation, stating, “The Lancet published no report in December 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China. The first reports the journal published were on January 24, 2020.”
In 2019, the United States contributed more than $550 million of the WHO’s $6 billion budget, with China funding $43 million, according to The New York Times.
Most states have started relaxing social distancing measures and new data suggests the number of COVID-19 cases in the nation has dropped in recent days.
New York state coronavirus cases have dropped over the last month, according to the Times, while some states like Alaska, Vermont, and Hawaii have hardly seen any cases.
Epidemiologist Jeffery Shaman from Columbia University told the Times, “We’re seeing a decline; undoubtedly, that is something good to see but what we are also seeing is a lot of places right on the edge of controlling the disease.”
There have been fears around reopening businesses in the nation. Reopening plans are already under process, with all states set to relax social distancing measures by Memorial Day weekend. However, polling shows that many Americans oppose the reopening of restaurants, bars, retail stores, and other businesses.
Worldwide, the number of reported COVID-19 infections passed 4.9 million, with more than 324,000 deaths, so far. In the United States, the virus has affected more than 1.5 million and killed over 93,500 people so far.