When last week US President Donald Trump said that he might halt funding to the world health organisation many believed he might not go ahead with his plan considering the world is in midst of coronavirus pandemic.
Many around the world must have rightly thought that there is such a possibility and Donald Trump could take such decision but none would have thought that it could happen so soon.
Suspension to counter China's influence
Trump believed that WHO mismanaged the coronavirus crisis and didn't act quickly enough to investigate the virus when it first emerged in Wuhan, China. He is angry also because he thinks that WHO toed China's official version when updated the world about the crisis. That WHO did not adequately and transparently informed about the world about the coronavirus crisis.
China charged virus genome quite early
Those taking WHO'side on the matter would say that the organisation was taking an active approach in updating the world about the crisis as it was developing.
Since the coronavirus outbreak was reported, the scientific community engaged in the study confirmed it to quite early that the virus is new and not much was known about it then. Scientists around the world were scrambling to study the virus and its modus operandi.
China, for all its fair charge of harbouring secrecy and hiding information, shared the genome of the virus with the scientific community quite early within a month when the cases of coronavirus were first reported. That led the microbiologists around the globe to read the virus in detail. A study by researchers at Yale School of Public Health (US), and Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), appreciated China's swiftness in the matter. Why China's this step lauded was because unlike in past instances, China did not hide the virus genome with the outside world this time.
"WHO didn't investigate virus early enough"
Trump's claim that the virus might have been contained had China and WHO acted more quickly reeks more of hiding his own incompetency than underlining faults of later twos.
"The WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable," Mr Trump said during a news conference Tuesday at the White House. "So much death has been caused by their mistakes."
Trump downplaying virus threat
Since the early January when the first case of coronavirus was reported in the US and also in South Korea, Trump had been downplaying the threat. From calling it hoax set up by the Democrats, to saying the virus would go in April, to claiming things are under control, Trump has been constantly saying things that either confused people or just said things that were outright wrong.
Governors across the states in the US have been managing the crisis mostly on their own. Their call for safety gears for doctors and health workers have gone unheard to the larger part of the crisis so far.
Trump started to take things seriously when pressure on him started to mount as thousands of people started to die due to the disease, especially in New York. Even as the number of casualty due to the virus is rising there aren't enough test kits available for those who want to get tested for the coronavirus.
"You cannot fight what you cannot see," said Roger Klein, a former laboratory medical director at the Cleveland Clinic and previously an adviser to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on clinical laboratory issues.
Apprehensive that such high death rate could jeopardise his chances of reelection in upcoming national polls, Trump made WHO the scapegoat for the coronavirus pandemic.
Many world leaders and health experts denounced Trump's decision to halt the funding to the most renowned and responsible health body in the world. More specifically the timing of such is being criticized.
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that this isn't the time to pull in the funds when many countries especially poor nations are hugely dependent on WHO for vaccine and other measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in their countries. In a statement, he said, "that there will be a time to look into how the virus spread so rapidly, across the globe, but now isn't that time."
American Medical Association too denounced president Donald trump's this decision.
Philanthropist and Microsoft's co-founder Bill Gates, who is also the largest private donor to World Health Organisation and have contributed 100 million dollars to it, also called on the president to not go ahead with his this decision when things are at such crucial juncture around the world.
According to some sources, the effort to withhold funding to WHO was part of Trump administration to contain the spread of China's influence on the world body but it was delayed because of some developments in the White House. Now, Trump has taken the decision apparently with two motives: to counter China's influence, and hide his failure to contain the spread of coronavirus in the USA.