Last month, President Donald Trump followed through on a threat to temporarily cut U.S. funding to the World Health Organization.
Health experts point out that Trump’s increasing attacks on the World Health Organization for its handling of the coronavirus demonstrate a misunderstanding of the U.N. agency’s role and could ultimately serve to weaken global health.
Devi Sridhar, a professor of global health at the University of Edinburgh, said the letter was likely written for Trump’s political base and meant to deflect blame for the virus’ devastating impact in the U.S., which has the most infections and coronavirus deaths in the world.
Trump’s threat to permanently withdraw funding from the WHO follows a pattern of attacks on world organizations that began long before the coronavirus outbreak.
The president has questioned the value of the U.S. funding sent to the United Nations, has withdrawn from global climate agreements and lambasted the World Trade Organization — claiming all were ripping off the U.S.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has criticized China and global institutions for problems plaguing the U.S., and the coronavirus pandemic is the latest of his attacks.