President Donald Trump is making it very clear to the World Health Organization that it can get its act together in terms of its loyalties or the United States will pull its funding permanently and drop it.
The WHO has been parroting China’s narratives since before the Coronavirus became a global pandemic. Not only that, it’s been obedient to China’s narratives outside of medical subjects as well, even going so far as to refuse to acknowledge Taiwan or Hong Kong as anything but Chinese territories. The WHO even outright refuses to give Taiwan membership status within the organization.
It’s not hard to see that the WHO is a Chinese propaganda arm in its current state, and Trump has had enough. On Monday, the president sent an open letter to the WHO and pinned it to his Twitter profile. Trump has made it pretty clear what the WHO needs to do.
“I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests,” said Trump within the letter.
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! pic.twitter.com/pF2kzPUpDv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
Trump had already frozen funding headed toward the WHO in April temporarily. Perhaps director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus was counting on the public pressure to change Trump’s mind and reinstate the funding, but Trump has proven time and again that he can’t be moved by this kind of thing.
The interesting part of this letter is that I’m not sure it was necessarily meant for Tedros. It seems meant for the globe to read. Within it, he makes it clear that the WHO once had better leadership and openly criticizes Tedros for not following the lead of his predecessor, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland.
“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,” Trump wrote.
Normally, when trying to convince a leader to do something, Trump is a little more complimentary on the ego. Here we see Trump has no desire to spare Tedros’s dignity. He’s comparing him to better leaders and showing that the WHO used to have a much brighter way.
If I had to guess, Trump is clearly trying to pressure the WHO into pushing out Tedros and replacing him with a more agreeable leader, not trying to get Tedros to become, himself, more agreeable.