By Lalit K Jha :
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has announced halting America’s funding of up to USD 500 million annually to the World Health Organisation while a review is being done to assess its role in “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the deadly coronavirus when it first emerged in China. The novel coronavirus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province in November, has so far killed at least 1,19,000 people globally, including more than 25,000 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. “Today I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organisation while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organisation’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.
Everybody knows what has gone on there,” Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on Tuesday. WHO focused on saving lives, says chief after US funding freeze: THE World Health Organisation is purely focused on saving lives and halting the coronavirus pandemic, its chief said Wednesday after US President Donald Trump announced he was freezing funding for the WHO. “There is no time to waste. WHO’s singular focus is on working to serve all people to save lives and stop the COVID-19 pandemic,” WHO director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus said.
on Twitter following Trump’s decision. Trump said Tuesday he was freezing the funding pending a review into the UN health agency’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus”, adding: “everybody knows what’s going on there”. The United States is the biggest individual contributor to the WHO’s funds. Tedros was due to host one of his thrice-weekly virtual press conferences later Wednesday from the organisation’s headquarters in Geneva. Tedros tweeted the WHO’s updated strategic preparedness and response plan for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which was released on Tuesday.
“The updated WHO global COVID-19 strategy guides the public health response at national and subnational levels, including practical guidance for strategic action, tailored to the local context,” he said. “One of the main things we’ve learned in the past months about COVID-19 is that the faster all cases are found, tested, isolated and cared for, the harder we make it for the virus to spread. “This principle will save lives and mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.” Trump’s move has drawn criticism from the United Nations, Russia, China, the European Union, the African Union and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, another major WHO contributor through his foundation. The pandemic has killed more than 125,000 people worldwide and infected at least two million people, according to an AFP tally.
China ‘concerned’ about US decision
Apr 15 (AFP)
CHINA said on Wednesday it was “seriously concerned” about the US decision to suspend funding for the WHO, and urged Washington to fulfill its obligations during the coronavirus crisis. “The current global epidemic situation is grim. It is at a critical moment. This US decision will weaken WHO’s capacities and undermine the international cooperation against the epidemic,”Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told regular press briefing.