Washington, April 24 (RHC)-- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a fundamental reform of the World Health Organization was needed following its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and that the United States, the WHO’s biggest donor, may never restore funding to the U.N. agency.
As Pompeo launched fresh attacks on the U.N. body on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives accused the Trump administration of trying to “scapegoat” the WHO to distract from its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter to President Donald Trump, they called for the immediate restoration of U.S. funding, which Trump suspended last week accusing the WHO of being “China-centric” and of promoting China’s “disinformation” about the outbreak.
Pompeo told Fox News late on Wednesday there needed to be “a structural fix of the WHO” to correct its “shortcomings.” Asked if he was not ruling out a change in leadership of the WHO, Pompeo replied: “Even more than that, it may be the case that the United States can never return to underwriting, having U.S. taxpayer dollars go to the WHO.”
The United States has been the biggest overall donor to the WHO, contributing over $400 million in 2019, roughly 15% of its budget. Senior U.S. officials last week told Reuters Washington could redirect these funds to other aid groups.