Trump announces the US will be cutting all support for the World Health Organisation and severing all ties. He also spent the best part of his Friday speech attacking China on a number of issues but it seems he is most vocal about China’s apparent influence over the WHO. For some time now he’s been building a narrative that places blame for the pandemic at China’s door and now it seems he also wants to blame his own inability to tackle the pandemic at home on the WHO while adding fuel to a China/WHO collusion conspiracy and even accusing China of having “control over” the WHO.
Folks might speculate if Trump’s poor poll ratings over the past few days might have prompted a desperate move but ultimately this means a $450m drop in funding for the World Health Organisation and at a time when the whole world is struggling with a killer pandemic. The fact that Trump had initially given them a 30 day ultimatum but decided to pull the plug less than 2 weeks later, does rather smack of desperation and further undermines the US role on the international stage.
Which ever side of the fence people sit on politically, what is clear is that as the US pulls back from it’s role on the global scene, other’s will inevitably step in. China already pledged an extra US$30 million when Trump first threatened he WHO with the 30 day ultimatum. Ironically, while threatening China with new sanctions over its treatment of Hong Kong, Trump actions will inevitably only Strengthen China’s standing and influence.