MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump’s statements regarding the suspension of the World Health Organization funding are driven by his election campaign, says Andrei Bystritsky, chairman of the Development and Support Foundation of the Valdai Club.
"Trump sees everything in the context of his presidential campaign, there is no doubt about it," the expert opined.
He underscored that the US leader "is under strong pressure from the Democrats and the American left," who accuse him of inefficient management during the crisis. Earlier, Trump announced that Washington seeks reform of the World Health Organization. He underscored that the United States suspends its contributions to the WHO budget and accused the international organization of incorrect estimations and recommendations which allegedly led to infection of 20 times as many people as could have happened otherwise.
"This is why Trump seeks to somehow place the blame on the WHO, which is rather vulnerable in this situation. As it turns out, our readiness for this infection is not high enough, and Trump’s actions largely aim to divert attention and shift blame," the expert noted.
At the same time, Trump could have other reasons for his decision. In particular, the US president is annoyed that the WHO "is too dependent on representatives of small nations," while the funding is mostly provided by the US and Western Europe.
"This is, of course, annoying to a certain degree: they pay while decisions are made by others," Bystritsky added.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 126,800 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 485,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 24,490 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 1,986 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 198 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.