US may never restore WHO funding, Mike Pompeo warns | World | News

It comes as Democrats in the US accuse the Trump administration of using the WHO as a “scapegoat” for its own handling of the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports. The party has called for President Trump to immediately restore funding to the agency after he announced last week after accusing the WHO of having “failed in its basic duty”.

The President also criticised the WHO’s attitude toward China’s outbreak efforts, saying that it “defended the action of the Chinese government”.

Now, Mr Pompeo has told Fox News that there should be “a structural fix” of the organisation.

Asked if he was calling for a change of leadership from current head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Pompeo replied: “Even more than that, it may be the case that the United States can never return to underwriting, having US taxpayer dollars go to the WHO.”

But Democrats have voiced “grave” concern over the Trump administration’s decision to distance the country from the WHO and halt funding.

In a letter to the President, members of Congress wrote that cutting WHO funding during the Covid-19 pandemic “is like cutting funding to the fire department in the middle of a blaze”.

They added that the decision “is profoundly misguided and appears to be an effort to scapegoat the WHO in order to deflect attention from your administration’s mismanaged and politicized response to the pandemic,”

“The organization is not perfect,” the letter continued, adding that a review should be called into the WHO’s handling of the crisis and its engagement with Chinese authorities.

“But let’s be clear: mistakes made by the WHO do not justify your halt in funding; nor do they excuse the serious failures of your administration in confronting this pandemic.”

READ MORE: Terrifying scale of coronavirus death toll in New York revealed

The WHO debate is part of a wider and on-going issue regarding the relationship between the US and China.

Mr Pompeo reportedly said earlier this week that the US “strongly believed” that Beijing had failed to report the outbreak – which is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan – fast enough.

And President Trump has suggested that China should face consequences if the country was “knowingly responsible”.

But China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, denied that China had covered up the Covid-19 outbreak and accused the US of bullying the country and the world.

In a video, he said: “I hear quite a lot of this speculation, this disinformation about China covering up, about china hiding something – this is not true.

“The Chinese government was transparent and very quick to share data.

He went on to accuse “some politicians” of wanting to be “the world’s policeman” and added: “this is not the era of gunboat diplomacy.”

China has donated 1.8 billion masks to the US, the ambassador also claimed, saying that China “is a friend” of the US.

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