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President Trump signaled Tuesday that he could put a “very powerful grip” on funding for the World Health Organization when he lashed out at the UN Special Bureau, accusing it of “being very Chinese-centric” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
By repeating their complaints from a tweet earlier in the day, the president said that the WHO “was wrong about many things.” Trump has been critical of the WHO for opposing the travel restrictions from China and Europe.
“They have been wrong about many things,”
He added: “We will get the money sent to WHO.”
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Trump, however, withdrew when asked about the message members’ statement, saying he would “investigate” any interruption of funding to the WHO and deny his earlier statement.
WHO has praised China for its openness about the virus, although there is reason to believe that more people died of COVID-19 than its official compilation.
The WHO has been increasingly focused on questions about its response to the coronavirus pandemic, including information it tweeted in January citing “preliminary” findings from Chinese authorities that negated the severity of the virus, which has since turned into a pandemic, which closes of daily life worldwide.
The United States is the single largest contributor to the WHO. The latest bill from WHO to the United States, which is one of many countries funding the organization, was for nearly $ 116 million a year. The United States also voluntarily provides between $ 100 and $ 400 million more per year to WHO for specific projects – grants totaling over $ 400 million in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available.
This means that the United States contributed over $ 500 million in total to the WHO that year, which is just under a quarter of the organization’s annual budget. WHO’s total budget for 2016 and 2017 was a total of more than $ 4 billion.
“WHO gets huge amounts of money from us,” Trump added.
The president’s main gripe with the WHO, which said at the end of January that “travel bans on affected areas or denial of entry to affected areas are usually not effective in preventing the import” of corona virus cases and can instead have a “significant economic and social impact . “
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“In general, evidence shows that restricting the movement of people and goods under public health aids is ineffective in most situations and can direct resources from other efforts,” the WHO reported, adding that such measures could “interrupt necessary support and technical support” and ” Interfering with business. “
The organization noted that a travel ban “may have a public health concern at the beginning of the containment phase of an outbreak, as they may allow affected countries to implement long-term response measures and allow non-affected countries to initiate and implement effective emergency response measures.”
But it opposed that measures should be “short in length, proportionate to public health risks and regularly reviewed as the situation develops.
Trump also raised the growing concern over the impact coronavirus has on the African-American community, saying his administration is trying to deal with what he called a “huge challenge.”
Speakers at the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci that the medical community has long known that diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma affected minority populations, especially African Americans.
He added that coronaviruses hit these people suffering from these underlying conditions severely and often require intubation, intensive care and sometimes death.
Fauci, the country’s best expert on infectious diseases, said it is “very sad,” but there is not much that can be done right now to try to give these people the best possible care.
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The White House comments come after Louisiana’s health department released information showing that the virus’s victims are disproportionately black and two-thirds of those who have died were affected by high blood pressure.
The new data released by the Louisiana Department of Health, which will be updated weekly, gives a glimpse of who is most at risk of dying from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus in a state deemed one of the nation’s most unhealthy.
Although African Americans account for a third of Louisiana’s population, they represent more than 70 percent of the state’s deaths as a result of COVID-19 caused by the virus, according to the data. The government John Bel Edwards called the racial difference disruptive.
“We are investigating this further and trying to find out everything we can about it,” the Democratic governor said Tuesday. “We have a lot more questions than we have answers right now.”
Trump also weighed in on the resignation of acting maritime security secretary Thomas Modly, who left his post following a difficult deployment of the official he dismissed as captain of the coronavirus-hit USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Trump said Tuesday that he did not know him or talk to him but credited Modly for resigning “to end the problem.” It was, he said, an “unselfish thing to do.”
Trump’s press conference came when Wisconsin voters went to the polls to vote in state elections despite warnings from the governor to stay home amid the pandemic.
Democrats in and out of Wisconsin were screaming for the race to be postponed, but Republicans – and the conservative majority state Supreme Court – would not give up. The fight to postpone the election, as more than a dozen states have done, was colored by a state election in the Supreme Court, which is also held Tuesday. A lower turnout was considered to favor the Conservative candidate.
So there is no doubt about the GOP’s motivation, Trump on Tuesday broke from health experts who have encouraged all Americans to stay home by urging his supporters to “come out and vote NOW” for Conservative Justice candidate Daniel Kelly.
He reiterated his support for Kelly later in the day and suggested that the Democrats simply play politics by trying to postpone the election.
“As soon as I approved him, the Wisconsin Democrats said, ‘Oh, let’s move the election two months later,'” Trump said. “Now they’re talking about ‘Oh security, security.'”
When asked if people in Wisconsin would either stay home or vote and run the risk of being infected with the virus, the president said, “you have to ask the Democratic governor of Wisconsin.”
“That’s his problem,” Trump said. “Call the governor of Wisconsin and ask him.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.