US Cutting Ties To WHO Undermines Global Pandemic Response - House Foreign Affairs Chair

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th May, 2020) President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO) will only hurt the global unified response to the coronavirus pandemic, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said in a statement.

On Friday, Trump during a press conference announced that the United States was terminating its relationship with the WHO and redirecting funds to other global health needs.

"As the world is grappling with this devastating pandemic, cutting off ties with the World Health Organization is like shutting off the fire hydrants in the middle of a blaze," Engel said on Friday. "If the President were really concerned about China's influence at the WHO, he would be enhancing America's role instead of undermining the institution best equipped to cobble together a unified global response."

The US Foreign Affairs Committee, Engel added, has also launched a probe into the "reckless" decision to halt WHO funding.

In April, Trump announced a temporary freeze of US funding for the WHO and warned that the freeze would become permanent unless the organization committed to major changes within 30 days. Trump accused the WHO of colluding with China to cover up the origins and handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

The US president earlier today said China has "total control" over the WHO despite paying only $40 million per year while the US pays $450 million annually.

The WHO said it declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency in January, which gave countries enough time to prepare. Chinese officials have repeatedly said they shared information on the outbreak in a timely manner.