Coronavirus Update – Trump Faces Backlash Over Withdrawal Of WHO Funding

The US President Donald Trump has made his most disastrous decision yet as he has announced that the country will be suspending the funding that it provides to the World Health Organization (WHO). As the USA is the major contributor to the organization, the decision has drawn widespread criticism. Trump claimed in a White House news conference that the WHO had failed in its basic duty and needed to be held accountable. He blamed the organization for promoting the China sponsored disinformation about coronavirus. According to him, this led to a wider spread of the virus across the world.

Trump said that he would continue to engage with the WHO on what he labelled as “meaningful reforms”. The US will continue the hold on funding while it reviews the organisation’s warnings about the Coronavirus in China. This has evoked widespread criticism from around the world.

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres was among the first to criticize the American decision. This is what he had to say –

“Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” Guterres said in a statement.”

While we await an official WHO response, this is what Dr Nahid Bhadelia wrote on social media slamming the decision –

“Cutting 15% (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.”

Dr Bhadelia is an infectious diseases expert at Boston University.

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Coronavirus Update - Trump Faces Backlash Over Withdrawal Of WHO Funding
 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had responded to Trump’s previous threats the past week. He had claimed that this was not the time to indulge in blaming each other constantly.

“The focus of all political parties should be to save their people. Please don’t politicise this virus,” Tedros said at a press briefing in Geneva last week.

“If you want to have many more body bags, then you do it. If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicising it … We will have many body bags in front of us if we don’t behave.”

Politics needs to rise above differences in these times to unite the people in this difficult fight that we are facing.

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Rhythm Bhatia

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