US President Donald Trump on Friday said he would soon make an announcement on the World Health Organization (WHO), which he alleged had become "a puppet of China". Trump has already suspended funding to the WHO, accusing it of misguiding the world on the coronavirus crisis and siding with China on the issue, news agency PTI reported.
"I don't believe it was done on purpose, but it was done through probably incompetence. It probably got out and they didn't know how to talk about it," Trump told Fox News in an interview. Trump said he wanted to go in and help the Chinese.
"They didn't want us to go in. The World Health Organization, as you know, we pay them almost $500 million a year. I'm going to be making an announcement on that soon because they are like a puppet for China. They're a puppet for China. Everything China does is OK. They get $38 million from China," Trump said. "But they are a pipe organ for China. So I'm going to make a decision very soon. I held back all funds. We held back almost $500 million from them. I'll make a decision, but think of it."
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Responding to a question, Trump said that he was having a very hard time with China. "I've been very tough in China over the years. I've been saying China's been ripping us off at a level that nobody's ever ripped us off before. I've been tough on other countries too because they all did. We've renegotiated a deal with Japan, we're taking in $40 billion," he said in response to a question.
The Trump administration is currently weighing punitive action against China over its early handling of the global health emergency. Washington is also pressing Beijing to allow American experts to probe the origin of the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China continued to hide and obfuscate Covid-19 data from the world.
"I have seen a significant amount of evidence that suggests that the lab was underperforming, that there were security risks at the lab and that the virus could well have emanated from there," Pompeo told Ben Shapiro in an interview.
"But I am happy to suspend the decision about that. What we need are answers. There are still people dying," he said.
By Friday, more than 78,000 Americans had died and 1.3 million tested positive for coronavirus. Globally, more than 273,000 people have died and 3.9 million tested positive for the disease.
"We have got an economy now that is really struggling and it is all a direct result of the Chinese Communist Party covering up, hiding information, silencing doctors who wanted to tell the story about where this began, how patient zero was formed and how it emanated from that person, and yet we cannot get those answers," Pompeo said.