Trump Considers Restoring 10 Percent of WHO Funding, Matching China Contributions

President Donald Trump said he is considering partially restoring funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) after halting contributions to the UN agency in April.

In a post on Twitter, Trump said that no final decision had been made and that funding for the global health agency remained frozen.

"This is just one of numerous concepts being considered under which we would pay 10% of what we have been paying over many years, matching much lower China payments. Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen," Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Trump said the potential plan was "just one of numerous concepts being considered under which we would pay 10% of what we have been paying over many years, matching much lower China payments."

He added: "Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen. Thanks!"

Fox News, citing a leaked draft letter, reported on Friday that Trump was poised to restore partial funding to the WHO to match China's assessed contribution. The U.S. has contributed roughly $400 million per year to the WHO, meaning the contribution would be cut to $40 million if the U.S. were to pay just 10 percent.

Donald Trump
Fox News, citing a leaked draft letter, reported on Friday that Trump was poised to restore partial funding to the WHO Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump suspended U.S. contributions to the WHO on April 14, saying funding would be on hold for 60 to 90 days depending on a review of the WHO's warnings about COVID-19 and China.

The president accused the body of facilitating China's "disinformation" about the coronavirus outbreak, saying his administration would launch a review of the organization. WHO officials denied the claims and China has insisted it was open and transparent.

"The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion," Trump said during a media briefing in the White House Rose Garden last month.

Trump's critics have framed his attacks against the WHO as an attempt to deflect attention from his own handling of the crisis. The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern" at the end of January, but the President did not announce a national emergency in the U.S. until mid-March.

Health experts around the globe also criticized the move to cut money from a UN agency during a global pandemic, saying it would undercut efforts to combat the disease.

At the time, the United Nations' Secretary General António Guterres said that it was "not the time" to cut funding as the world faces a pandemic. He added that the health body was "absolutely critical to the world's efforts" to fight the coronavirus and said it "must be supported."

"The United States of America has been a long-standing and generous friend to the WHO and we hope it will continue to be so," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference after Trump froze funding.

"We regret the decision of the President of the United States to order a hold in funding to the World Health Organization."

Trump Considers Restoring 10 Percent of WHO Funding, Matching China Contributions | U.S.