Governments and health experts worldwide have reacted with alarm after President Donald Trump said he was halting the sizable funding the United States sends to the World Health Organization.
They warned that the move could jeopardise global efforts to stop the coronavirus pandemic. The United States is the WHO’s largest single donor, contributing between $400 million and $500 million annually to the Geneva-based agency in recent years.
Trump said he was instructing his administration to halt funding for the WHO pending a review of its role “in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus”.
The WHO said it regretted the move. Its director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the United States had been “a longstanding and generous friend to WHO and we hope it will continue to be so”.
Tedros said WHO’s member countries and independent organisations will assess the UN health agency’s performance at a later day. But the focus must remain on ending the outbreak.
“This is a time for all of us to be united in our common struggle against a common threat, a dangerous enemy. When we’re divided, the virus exploits the cracks between us,” he said.