Donald Trump directs halt to payments to WHO during virus pandemic


President Donald Trump stated Tuesday that he was slicing off U.S. payments to the World Health Organization during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the group of failing to do sufficient to cease the virus from spreading when it first surfaced in China.

Trump, who had telegraphed his intentions final week, claimed the outbreak might have been contained at its supply and that lives might have been saved had the U.N. well being company completed a greater job investigating the early studies popping out of China.

“The WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable,” Trump stated at a briefing. He stated the U.S. could be reviewing the WHO’s actions to cease the virus earlier than making any determination on resuming support.

There was no quick remark from the Geneva-based group on Trump’s announcement. But when requested about doable U.S. funding cuts during a daily U.N. briefing earlier Tuesday, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris responded, “Regardless of any issues, our work will go on.”

Trump stated the U.S. will proceed to have interaction with the WHO in pursuit of “meaningful reforms.”

The United States contributed practically $900 million to the WHO’s finances for 2018-19, in accordance to data on the company’s web site. That represents one-fifth of its whole $4.Four billion finances for these years. The U.S. gave practically three-fourths of the funds in “specified voluntary contributions” and the remainder in “assessed” funding as a part of Washington’s dedication to U.N. establishments.

A extra detailed WHO finances doc offered by the U.S. mission in Geneva confirmed that in 2019, the United States offered $452 million, together with practically $119 million in assessed funding. In its most up-to-date finances proposal from February, the Trump administration known as for slashing the U.S. assessed funding contribution to the WHO to $57.9 million.

More than 125,000 deaths worldwide, together with greater than 25,000 within the U.S., have been blamed on the coronavirus, in accordance to Johns Hopkins University.

Last week, Trump blasted the WHO for being “China-centric” and alleging that it had “criticized” his ban on journey from China because the COVID-19 outbreak was spreading from the town of Wuhan.

The WHO typically takes care not to criticize international locations on their nationwide insurance policies, and it was not instantly clear what particular criticism Trump was alluding to.

Trump himself confirmed deference to China at the start phases of the outbreak.

“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus,” he tweeted Jan. 24. “The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

Asked Tuesday concerning the appropriateness of looking for to lower the WHO’s funding in the midst of a worldwide viral outbreak, Trump stated the evaluation would final 60 to 90 days.

“This is an evaluation period, but in the meantime, we’re putting a hold on all funds going to World Health,” Trump stated.

Trump has additionally complained that different international locations give considerably lower than the U.S., singling out China.

The American Medical Association instantly known as on Trump to rethink his determination.

“During the worst public health crisis in a century, halting funding to the World Health Organization is a dangerous step in the wrong direction that will not make defeating COVID-19 easier,” AMA President Patrice A. Harris stated in an announcement.

Harris stated worldwide cooperation is required to combat the virus, together with science and knowledge.

“Cutting funding to the WHO, rather than focusing on solutions, is a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world,” she stated.

For most individuals, the coronavirus causes delicate or reasonable signs, resembling fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. But it will probably trigger extra extreme sickness, together with pneumonia, and loss of life for some individuals, particularly older adults and other people with present well being issues. The overwhelming majority of individuals recuperate.

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