Trump suspends WHO funding

World Grigory Matyunin 15-Apr-2020
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Donald Trump attends the 'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' Red Carpet Event at Trump Tower on April 1, 2013 in New York City

Facing criticism for his handling of the covid-19 pandemic, US President Donald Trump has halted funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO).  It is currently uncertain whether this measure will be permanent.

Trump and various US officials have criticised the WHO for its handling of the crisis and have alleged, without evidence, that the WHO was acting credulously in accepting China’s data concerning its death toll and number of infections. Trump has also criticised the WHO’s advice against imposing travel restrictions, a measure which the organisation claimed was ineffective.

“Everybody knows what is going on there,” he said, accusing the organisation of making a “disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”

The US has contributed more funding to the WHO than any other country. Last year it contributed $553m of towards the WHO’s $6bn overall budget. The loss of this funding will have a tangible effect on the organisation’s work at this time of crisis.

Trump’s handling of the covid-19 pandemic has come under sharp criticism. Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused him of causing ‘unnecessary deaths and economic disaster. His recent claim to have ‘total’ authority to reopen the economy throughout the country has been revealed to be untrue.

The US currently has the highest covid-19 death toll in the world, approaching 26,000. Over 10,000 have occurred in New York alone, exceeding Italy on a per capita basis.