President Donald Trump’s administration is moving forward with his May order to cancel U.S. funding of the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the Washington Examiner, Trump first pulled funding to the WHO over concerns that the international organization had mishandled its response to COVID-19 and given too much leniency to China in the early days of the pandemic. Now, roughly four months later, the State Department has confirmed that funds set to go to the WHO later this year will now be redirected to other health organizations.
The Examiner reports that the cuts amount “to a $62 million loss for the WHO, which was slated to receive $120 million in the 2020 fiscal year from the United States.”
WHO has “failed badly”
Roughly $58 million of that budget had already been dispersed prior to Trump’s spring order.
The update came by way of State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, who said in a statement that “[t]he United States has long been the world’s most generous provider of health and humanitarian assistance to people around the world,” the Examiner reported.
Ortagus rightly noted that America’s generous assistance comes with one major caveat — the “reasonable expectation” of American taxpayers that their money is being used wisely and effectively and in the nation’s best interests.
“Unfortunately, the World Health Organization has failed badly by those measures, not only in its response to COVID-19, but to other health crises in recent decades,” Ortagus said. “In addition, WHO has declined to adopt urgently needed reforms, starting with demonstrating its independence from the Chinese Communist Party.”
According to Ortagus, the “withdrawal becomes effective on July 6, 2021.” In the meantime, the Trump administration remains hard at work to “identify partners to assume the activities previously undertaken by WHO,” Ortagus said, according to the Examiner.
Trump follows through
Ortagus said the U.S. will continue to “scale down its engagement with the WHO,” through next July, including by “recalling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailees from WHO headquarters, regional offices, and country offices, and reassigning these experts.”
Between now and America’s official withdrawal from the organization, the Trump administration will participate in “WHO technical meetings and events” on a “case-by-case basis,” if deemed necessary, Ortagus said.
It seems those who thought President Trump was bluffing about pulling U.S. funding from the WHO have been proven horribly wrong.
Trump is a president who follows through on his promises — and as November’s election draws closer, it only becomes increasingly clear that he won’t be backing down.