US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has terminated Washington’s relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO), accusing the United Nations agency of bowing to pressure from China and allowing the Covid-19 pandemic to spread out of control.
“The world deserves answers,” the president said about WHO and Chinese officials’ actions when the Covid-19 virus went public in China – then infected millions across the world. He blamed Chinese officials for, in his words, having “pressured the World Health Organisation to mislead the world” about the virus. “Countless lives have been taken” by Covid-19 and it spawned “profound economic hardship”, Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump added that Chinese officials have “violated” their promises, which he contended “cannot be swept aside”.China’s cover up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread throughout the world,” he said. “Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organisation.”
Mr Trump said he is terminating the US relationship with the WHO because they have refused to make changes his administration has requested, and will be redirecting funds now dedicated to the WHO elsewhere.
Meanwhile, on China, the president said he will give an order to his official to end special treatment for Hong Kong, a direct result of Chinese plans to enact a new law so it can crack down on the previously autonomous city-state.
He also said he will remove Hong Kong’s other special privileges, including an extradition treaty and commercial relations like export controls.
Targeting senior Chinese officials, Mr Trump said his administration will “take steps” to sanction any officials who have had a hand in the security clamp down inside Hong Kong.The president described China’s move on Hong Kong as a “basic violation” of its treaty obligations.
”President Trump’s Rose Garden event just now was pathetic. It perfectly encapsulates his inability to lead when our nation needs it most. The only question is whether President Trump is afraid to lead or just doesn’t know how,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement.
“America is reeling from 100,000 deaths and rising. 40 million have filed for unemployment. Our communities are hurting from senseless murders and years of racism and injustice,” he added. “But President Trump is only interested in scapegoating and divisiveness when he should be leading.”