Trump says restoring partial funding to WHO is ‘being considered’

President TrumpDonald John TrumpState Department inspector general fired House passes massive T coronavirus relief package Analysis: Most states fall short of recommended coronavirus testing levels as some reopen MORE confirmed Saturday that he is considering partially restoring funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) after slashing contributions to the body last month.

“[T]his is just one of numerous concepts being considered under which we would pay 10% of what we have been paying over many years, matching much lower China payments. Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Before the president announced last month he is cutting funding to the group amid withering criticism from Republicans over its handling of the coronavirus, the U.S. contributed roughly $400 million per year to the WHO, meaning the contribution would be cut to $40 million if the U.S. were to pay just 10 percent.

Trump first halted funding to the WHO for what he described as a mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The WHO’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above life-saving measures,” Trump said in the Rose Garden last month, referring to his decision earlier this year to halt travel from China, where the pandemic began. “The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion.” 

Trump said at the time that a review of the body would take between 60 and 90 days, and that the administration in the meantime would channel the funds to “the areas most needed.”

Trump and Republicans had launched a cavalcade of criticism at the WHO for disparity in funding the organization receives from the U.S. versus China, and for supposedly not thoroughly vetting China’s figures on its coronavirus deaths and cases.

“The mission of the WHO is to get public health information to the world so every country can make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe. When it comes to Coronavirus, the WHO failed,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said in a statement in March. “They need to be held accountable for their role in promoting misinformation and helping Communist China cover up a global pandemic.”

The GOP’s increased focus on the WHO coincided with intense scrutiny over Trump’s own handling of the coronavirus, which critics say was slow to get off the ground and led to delays in distributing testing kits, personal protection equipment and other tools to states across the country.

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