COVID-19 CRISIS: Trump suspends funding to World Health Organization over mismanaging COVID-19

15 Avril, 2020, 11:22 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (pix) said, after US President Donald Trump's statement on the suspension of funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO), that it was not the right time now to do so, reported Sputnik news agency.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, criticized Trump's decision, saying, "Withholding funding for World Health Organization in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century makes as much sense as cutting off ammunition to an ally as the enemy closes in".

"With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America's generosity has been put to the best use possible".

After weeks of lockdowns in several European countries, the World Health Organization said the number of new cases were tailing off in some areas, such as Italy and Spain, but outbreaks were growing in Britain and Turkey.

New York City, the U.S. city hardest hit by the pandemic, revised its death toll sharply up to more than 10,000 on Tuesday, to include victims presumed to have perished from the lung disease but never tested.

"To be sure, the World Health Organisation is not without fault but it is beyond irresponsible to cut its funding at the height of a global pandemic", said Leslie Dach, the chair of Protect Our Care.

"The scariest day of my life was about a month ago, when after a long day of meetings my team told me that we were going to be needing 130,000 ventilators - that we were short hundreds of thousands of ventilators", he said during the daily White House press briefing.

"It would have been so easy to be truthful". "So much death has been caused by their mistakes".

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"This is the system we inherited", Trump continued.

Detailing how the WHO has handled the pandemic, The Guardian reported that the group first raised the alert over the Wuhan outbreak on 5 January, and beginning on 7 January it was briefing public health officials from the U.S. and other national governments on the outbreak in regular teleconference calls.

"All of the aid we send will be discussed at very powerful levels".

The Republican president recently accused the World Health Organization of being too lenient with China in the earliest days of the crisis, despite having himself praised China in January for its response and transparency. "It will all work out well".

The effort to withhold the WHO's funding has been part of a broader push to curtail China's growing global influence but was delayed by turnover inside the White House and the State Department, according to current and former administration officials.

This advice was given in late January when the virus was starting to spread, however, at the same time, President Trump was downplaying the threat to the public.

The president said that governors of states were requesting "unreasonable" quantities of ventilators to meet their estimated needs, but thankfully did not need those quantities.

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