German politicians share criticism of the World Health Organization, but criticize Trump’s actions.
With his decision to stop payments to the World Health Organization (WHO) for the time being, US President Donald Trump has brought German politics into a not atypical conflict. Trump’s criticism of the WHO in Berlin is by no means considered completely absurd, but the decision to weaken the organization in the middle of the pandemic is rated as absurd. “”The WHO’s strong connection to China and its corona management are cause for concern,” tweeted Norbert Rottgen (CDU), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Bundestag. “But dealing with these concerns should wait until the health crisis is over. This is not the time to freeze funds,” said Rottgen. Otherwise, this would hit those countries worst that are least able to help themselves.
“Mutual blame does not help in the corona crisis,” Foreign Minister Maas warns
“If you want to limit China ‘s influence on the WHO, withdrawing funds is counterproductive,” said Rottgen of the Eastern Herald Newspaper. He, therefore, proposed “that the EU and Great Britain take over the failure”. This is imperative both for coping with the crisis and for foreign policy. The WHO, under its general secretary Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is however partly responsible for the fact that the world reacted too late to the COVID 19 outbreak. “”Criticism that is correct will not be wrong if Trump has voiced it,” said Rottgen.
“Mutual blame does not help in the corona crisis,” warned Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). The virus knows no borders. “”One of the best investments in the fight against the pandemic is to strengthen the United Nations, especially the underfunded World Health Organization, for example in developing and distributing tests and vaccines,” he said. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert also emphasized the “incredibly important work” of the WHO in the fight against the pandemic. Therefore, the federal government is convinced that it is right to “adequately finance” WHO. In contrast to Rottgen, the federal government avoids responding to Trump’s criticism of the WHO and its general secretary.
The foreign policy spokesman for the FDP in the Bundestag, Bijan Djir-Sarai, also criticized Trump’s payment freeze at “absolute time”. The criticism of the WHO is indeed justified, he emphasized. The FDP recently applied the Bundestag demanding that, against the resistance of China, Taiwan, which was particularly successful in the fight against COVID-19, be included in the work of the WHO. But it was, said Djir-Sarai, “very obvious that the American President is only looking for another scapegoat for his late action in the corona crisis.”