WHO Takes Cautious Approach In Responding To Trump’s Threat

This picture taken on May 12, 2020, shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva next to their headquarters, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / ... This picture taken on May 12, 2020, shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva next to their headquarters, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 19, 2020 9:22 a.m.

GENEVA — A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization says the U.N. health agency doesn’t have an immediate reaction to a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump that listed his complaints, including “an alarming lack of independence” from China in its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib says she’s seen the letter.

“I don’t have any reaction, we have been busy trying to finalize our agenda for the World Health Assembly,” she said, referring to health agency’s annual meeting, which has been shortened and will end later Tuesday because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am sure in the course of the day we will have more clarity and reaction to this letter,” she said at a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva.

Trump posted a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, dated Monday, on his Twitter page overnight.

Among other things, Trump pointed to his decision to suspend U.S. contributions to the WHO pending a review of its actions in response to the outbreak. He faulted its “repeated missteps” in the response to the pandemic, saying they have proven “very costly for the world.”

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