Donald Trump Announces US Exit From The WHO, Says 'China Has Total Control Over The World Health Organization'

Nicholas Morine

On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be leaving the World Health Organization (WHO), per CNBC. In a statement, the president made it clear his administration was not pleased with what it perceives to be Chinese control of the WHO.

"China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year."

Trump would go on to announce that the United States was effectively ending its relationship with the WHO.

"We are today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization," the president said, effectively following through on his previous promise -- delivered in a written letter earlier this month -- to cut funding to the organization.

The list of the president's grievances against the WHO was long, with several stated examples of seeming double standards -- wherein the United States drew rampant criticism from the WHO over actions either praised, or ignored by, China -- being asserted. Contrasting his estimation of Dr. Ghebreyesus' actions against the "bold" steps taken by one of the doctor's predecessors -- former WHO Director-General Dr. Harlem Brundtland -- the president expressed displeasure over the World Health Organization's recent actions.

"She also did not hesitate to criticize China for endangering global health by attempting to cover up the outbreak through its usual playbook of arresting whistleblowers and censoring media. Many lives could have been saved had you followed Dr. Brundtland's example."

A longstanding point of contention between the Trump administration and the WHO has been the latter's early position that a so-called travel ban would be ineffective in halting the spread of the coronavirus. In late January, the president's administration enacted a travel ban on passengers arriving from China, and in February, the WHO responded with an advisory taking the opposite stance.

"We'll obviously have to work with other partners to ensure those funds can still flow... This is going to be a major implication for delivering essential health services to some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and we trust developed donors will, if necessary, step in to fill that gap."

Per the Daily Mail, the United States contributes about a quarter of the WHO's operating budget. As of this writing, the organization has not offered a formal response to the news on its social media presences.