Trump: US Considering Giving WHO No More Than China Does

May 16, 2020 Updated: May 16, 2020

The United States could restore some funding to the World Health Organization under a plan that would cap contributions at whatever amount China gives, President Donald Trump said Saturday.

Trump responded to a social media post that included a story claiming the Trump administration is close to restoring partial funding for the organization, also known as the WHO.

Funding is still frozen for now, the president clarified.

“This is just one of numerous concepts being considered under which we would pay 10 percent of what we have been paying over many years, matching much lower China payments. Have not made final decision,” Trump said.

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World Health Organization Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on April 6, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)

Fox News, citing a draft letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the United States is prepared to “pay up to what China pays in assessed contributions” to the health organization.

U.S. contributions to the WHO last year exceeded $400 million, according to the State Department. According to the WHO, the United States provides nearly 15 percent of its funding. China gave about $40 million last year.

Trump ordered a halt to U.S. funds to the group last month after he and top officials increasingly vocalized displeasure with the United Nations body. Trump has said the WHO is “too China-centric” and noted the WHO opposed travel bans early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Ghebreyesus and Dr. Michael Ryan, another official, repeatedly praised the Chinese Communist Party’s response to the CCP virus outbreak despite evidence showing the party manipulated numbers, hid details of the virus, and turned to conspiracy theories about its origins.

WHO officials have rejected assertions they’re too close with the Chinese regime and said cuts in funding put their work combating the virus in jeopardy.

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Phlebotomist Herbert Collins draws blood from Victoria Reese during an American Red Cross blood drive held at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Ill., on May 11, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Administration officials have floated directing money that would go to the WHO to other groups like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

U.S. lawmakers have pushed to oust Ghebreyesus and to include Taiwan in the WHO. Reform calls have garnered support from the likes of Australia and Canada.

During the funding pause, American officials were reviewing whether the WHO was being run well.

“The review is going to be all encompassing, get into all manners of management operation questions,” John Barsa, acting administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, told reporters at the State Department. “There’s numerous questions in terms of the management of the WHO; how they have been operating holding member states accountable in their actions.”

Trump’s decision to pause funding garnered opposition among some in Congress. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) launched a probe into the decision, saying the WHO “has made mistakes” but cutting funding “is not the answer.”

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