The WHO has given a first glimpse of its reaction to President Trump’s extraordinary letter, saying it has been busy organising a global summit.
The WHO has given a first glimpse of its reaction to President Trump’s extraordinary letter, saying it has been busy organising a global summit.

‘We have been busy’: WHO to Trump

A World Health Organisation spokeswoman said the UN health agency has "been busy" organising its virtual summit and doesn't have any reaction to President Trump's letter.

Speaking ahead of the second day of the two-day meeting on Tuesday, WHO spokeswoman Fedela Cahiab said she had seen the letter but "I don't have any reaction, we have been busy trying to finalise our agenda for the World Health Assembly."

"I am sure in the course of the day we will have more clarity and reaction to this letter," she said.

It comes after President Trump posted a "self explanatory" letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his Twitter page overnight.

 

President Donald Trump posted a scathing letter to the UN health agency on Monday. Picture: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.
President Donald Trump posted a scathing letter to the UN health agency on Monday. Picture: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

The lengthy letter accused the 194 member WHO of an "alarming lack of independence from the People's Republic of China."

It accused the WHO of acting too slowly, wrongly praising Chinese transparency and blamed them for "repeated missteps" that have proven "very costly for the world" during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also threatened to cut off funding to the body at a critical time.

It comes after the opening day of the summit in which the WHO director general said he would back a review into the pandemic when the time was right.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping also said he would support a WHO-led investigation into the virus once it was "under control".

However President Xi did not make clear whether he would support the Australian-led proposal that calls for an independent evaluation.

The US is the worst hit country in the world amid the virus pandemic and President Trump is under pressure to defend his administration's actions which critics claim have been too slow.

Nearly five million people have been infected with coronavirus around the world with more than 315,000 deaths so far.

Originally published as 'We have been busy': WHO to Trump


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