On Tuesday, Donald Trump stated that he was halting all future funding for the World Health Organization. His decision comes as a result of the organization criticizing his early response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his statements, Trump accused the WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus crisis. Trump has also previously threatened to cut off funding shortly after the organization publicly criticized the travel restrictions he placed on China.
“It could have been contained at its source,” Trump claimed. He then added that WHO “pushed China’s misinformation about the virus…and there was no need for travel bans.”
Trump went on to state that the U.S. “has a duty to insist on full accountability” and he added that WHO “failed to investigate” the first reports about the virus.
The United States is the WHO’s largest contributor. Earlier this year the U.S. gave the organization $57.8 million.
Trump’s decision has received major criticism from across the globe.
“Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” stated UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made it clear that New Zealand would continue to financially support the organization.
“At a time like this when we need to be sharing information and we need to have advice we can rely on, the WHO has provided that,” Ardern stated.
German foreign minister Heiko Maas stated that Trump’s decision to cut off funding in the middle of a pandemic was “nonsensical.”
“The virus knows no borders,” Maas stated.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK will continue to support the organization.
“Our position is that the UK has no plans to stop funding the World Health Organisation which has an important role to play in leading the global health response. Coronavirus is a global challenge and it’s essential that countries work together to tackle this shared threat.”