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Trump announced to suspend WHO funding over pandemic response

April 15, 2020 | 09:24

Washingtonpost informed on April 15 that President Trump announced Tuesday that he will suspend payments to the World Health Organization in response to the United Nations agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as the organization is in the midst of combating a global outbreak that has killed thousands and crippled world economies

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A video of breaking news by Skynews.com.au on Youtube informed:US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he had instructed his administration to suspend funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in a move that drew immediate condemnation.

It was also reported on independent.co.uk that The United States is suspending funding to the World Health Organisation, Donald Trump has announced, while his administration reviews what he described as the group’s “disastrous” role in “covering up” the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.

He accused the group of promoting China's "disinformation" about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak of the virus than otherwise would have occurred.

“The reality is the WHO failed to obtain, vet and share information in a timely fashion,” Mr Trump said. “The WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable.”

The US president, who has been accused ignoring warnings from his own intelligence agencies of the virus’s severity as well as failing to act in a timely manner, said “delays the WHO experienced in declaring a public health emergency cost valuable time, tremendous amounts of time”.

His administration plans to redirect funding meant for the WHO to work with countries on health issues “in other ways”. As usual, he did not describe what those “other” avenues might be.

He repeated his misleading statement that Washington sends the WHO “$400m to $500m” each year. Budget documents show it is closer to just over $100m (£78m) annually. There was no immediate response from the organisation

The “America first” president panned China for only devoting around $40m annually to the WHO’s coffers, and lamented world leaders for allowing the group to defend China while it, according to the Trump administration, misled the world about Covid-19.

us president trump announced to suspend who funding over pandemic response
Trump addresses the daily coronavirus taskforce briefing in the Rose Garden at the White House [Leah Millis/Reuters]

Hours before Mr Trump appeared in the Rose Garden and made the announcement at the start of his daily Covid-19 briefing, congressional Democrats blasted his plan.

“Clearly, multiple failures at both the national and international level led to the pandemic disaster that we are facing today. As an international community, we must look critically at what went right and what went wrong in this global response, and learn from this so that we do not repeat the same mistakes again,” said senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

“It’s crucial that the United States is at the centre of the discussion, not on the sidelines, as the international community determines what path the World Health Organisation takes moving forward,” he said. ”Cutting back on America’s support and involvement will mean that the United States does not have a full seat at the table during these discussions, and will only magnify the already troubling influence of China at the WHO.”

For their part, senior WHO leaders have tried to resist a public spat with Mr Trump, saying simply that the midst of a pandemic is not the proper time for a funding fight.

us president trump announced to suspend who funding over pandemic response
Donald Trump has accused WHO of being "China-centric" and claims thousands died because of its inaction.(Photo: telegraph.co.uk)

According to Mr Trump, WHO prevented transparency over the outbreak and the United States - the UN body's biggest funder which provided $400 million last year - will now "discuss what to do with all that money that goes to the WHO."

He said that the WHO had not sent experts into China quickly enough when the outbreak first emerged and took the assurances from that country's leaders "at face value".

Mr Trump said had the WHO "done its job" by getting experts into China swiftly then "the outbreak could have been contained at its sources with very little death". The US president suggested thousands of lives could have been saved by such action.

After the annoucement, the WHO did not immediately comment, a report on aljazeera said

Writing on social media, Dr Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious diseases specialist and the medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit at Boston University, said withdrawing funding would be a disaster.

"Cutting 15 percent (US contribution) of WHO budget during the biggest projected pandemic of the last century is an absolute disaster," she wrote on Twitter. "WHO is a global technical partner, the platform through which sovereign countries share data/technology, our eyes on the global scope of this pandemic.

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