‘Short sighted.’ Health experts decry Trump’s freeze on U.S. funding for WHO as world fights pandemic

World Health Organization
World Health Organization

President Donald Trump stated that he is going stop financially supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) until he makes an investigation that will last for two or three months about how the agency has handled the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Trump said about WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” at a White House press conference in the Rose Garden this evening, adding “everybody knows what’s going on there.”

People’s reaction to the news was a horror from the pandemic accusing Trump to have short-sighted decisions that will cause disasters for the WHO, stated Devi Sridhar. A global health expert at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. “We need the WHO more than ever to support all countries, especially low and middle-income ones.”

Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development who headed the U.S. Agency for International Development’s disaster response efforts under former President Barack Obama stated that the move will lead to opposite effects and will leave the U.S. and the world in danger. He also added that what he did will be an attempt to blame the U.S government for any failure.

In response to Trump’s threat last week that he might cut WHO funding, the agency’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, strongly urged world leaders not to politicize the pandemic. “We will have many body bags in front of us if we don’t behave,” said Tedros.

Trump didn’t state how much money he plans to stop. USA was the largest single donor for the WHO in the last 2 years, with giving around 900 million USD for the WHO out of the 5.6 million budget. generally, the White House can put back paying money assigned by Congress for a particular reason but be approved from Congress to stop such spending totally. Trump can transfer some of the WHO funds to any other purpose. without obvious permission from Congress. It might be complicated for the White House to request money already funded to WHO.

Nevertheless, What trump did could obviously be an impediment world’s battle against COVID-19.  Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University stated “if WHO is ensnared in a political and funding crisis, it simply won’t be able to provide the leadership that is so urgently needed in this unique time in human history.”

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