Washington: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday, during a White House briefing, threatened to stop US funding to the World Health Organization as it looks into its handling of the novel coronavirus, however, denied making any such remarks later in the briefing.
He accused the WHO of being biased towards China in its handling of the outbreak.
“They called it wrong, they missed the call… so we’ll be looking into that very carefully and we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO,” Trump said .
After making these remarks, Trump minutes later, contradicted his own words, Trump denied that he’s saying the US will stop funding the WHO. ‘No I didn’t say it,’ he said. ‘I said I’d look at it’, he added.
On January 23, WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said at a WHO emergency meeting on the novel coronavirus in Geneva that the organization did not recommend any broader restrictions on travel or trade, but he did recommend exit screening at airports.
At that time, there were more than 600 confirmed COVID-19 cases in China and 17 deaths due to the disease. The virus had also spread to the United States, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
On February 2, the United States imposed entry restrictions banning non-US citizens traveling from China while US citizens coming from China were subject to screening and a possible 14-day quarantine.