The United States President Donald Trump halted funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He believes that the organisation drew condemnation from infectious disease experts when the global death toll continued to mount.
According to Trump, “The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable.” Over 2 million people have been infected globally with the novel coronavirus also called COVID19, and over 133,000 have died since the disease emerged in 2019 in China.
The United States had spoken about stoping this fund early this month but, then took the decision back. On Tuesday Trump announced that they will not support the organisation. The U.S. is the biggest donor to the WHO, where they contributed more than $400 million last year, which is 15% of the organisation’s overall budget.
Experts believe that this is a short-sighted decision and will prove to be disastrous for the agency. During this time of the pandemic, WHO needs more funds than ever to support all low and middle-income countries. While Trump is blaming WHO to support China, on January 25, Trump had shown support on Twitter by writing: ‘China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. 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!’
There are also many experts who believe that Trump has been blaming the WHO for his inefficiency to contain the virus in the U.S. Currently, the U.S. has the highest number of cases globally with over 6 lakhs and over 27,000 deaths.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday it was “not the time” to reduce resources for the World Health Organization after President Donald Trump halted U.S. funding over the body’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Guterres said in a statement it was “not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus.”
“Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” he said.