WHO Irks Trump’s Ire

Donald Trump, in a press briefing, said that the World Health Organization (WHO) seems to be China-centric. He added that the US would be rethinking the terms of its funding to the WHO.
Complete Coverage: Coronavirus

Crux of the Matter

What did WHO do? (or not do)
There have been critics of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) actions on the outbreak of Coronavirus. The apex health body announced Coronavirus as pandemic on 12th March 2020 when it had crossed borders and taken close to 5,000 lives. It had also faced the heat when, on the basis of the preliminary investigation by China, it announced that there was no clear evidence of human to human transmission.

WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom has also come under the spotlight. He is the first non-medical director of the WHO. It is speculated that he was incumbent because China had influenced votes in his favor. He was also accused of covering up cholera epidemics in Ethiopia. While many nations criticised China for silencing early whistleblowers of the pandemic and delayed reporting, Dr. Tedros appreciated China’s quick actions and openness for spreading information.

Complete Coverage: What did WHO do?

Trump’s Ire for China-centric WHO
During a press briefing, Trump accused WHO of siding with China, thus, failing not only the people of the US but of the world by not holding China accountable for minimum levels of healthcare and transparency. He also criticized it for disagreeing with his travel ban during the early days of the pandemic. More importantly, the WHO receives majority funding from the US. Trump has threatened to put funding on hold.

On April 10, 2020, there will be a closed-door meeting of the 10 non-permanent and 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. It remains to be seen if there are any actions against China or WHO.

Does China have Bigger Plans?
Recently, Vietnam accused the Chinese Coast Guard of “hindering, ramming and sinking” a Vietnamese boat that had 8 fishermen onboard in the Paracel Island Region. China, Taiwan, and Vietnam have a dispute over the sovereignty of Paracel Island. The US intervened and warned China of taking advantage of the pandemic to exert claims in the South China sea. China’s activity in the region has ramped up with research stations and military aircrafts being deployed in vast numbers.

It must be noted that recently it deployed a dozen underwater drones in the Indian Ocean Region, raising tensions with India as these vehicles are notorious for collecting intelligence for warfare.

Summachar’s Coverage: China Deploys Sea-Drones Near Subcontinent; Tries To Play Big Brother With SAARC

  • During the Ebola outbreak and Swine Flu, WHO was highly criticized for insufficient financing and also exaggerating the danger and spread.
  • WHO is a 72 years old international organization which works as a specialized agency of UNESCO. The agency is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The USA accused china of using coronavirus as a cover to make claims on the South China Sea activities, which if so will boost China’s trades significantly.