DailyMail reports Bill Gates slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold $500 million in funding to the World Health Organization, saying it’s ‘as dangerous as it sounds’.
The tech magnate, worth $104billion, tweeted Wednesday saying the US’ involvement with the WHO is more necessary than ever.
‘Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds,’ he tweeted Wednesday.
‘Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever,’ he added.
On Tuesday night Trump announced he would halt funding to the WHO immediately for ‘its role in severely mismanaging the spread of coronavirus’ and would launch an investigation into their mishandling of the pandemic.
The US Chamber of Commerce and the American Medical Association lead the outrage against Trump’s controversial move, saying it wasn’t in the best interest of the country and urged him to reconsider.
In a press briefing on Wednesday in response to Trump’s decision, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said ‘We regret the decision of the President of the United States to order a halt in funding to the WHO.’
He praised the US as a ‘longstanding and generous friend’ of the WHO and noted that the organization isn’t just fighting COVID-19, it’s working to fight a slew of other illnesses including malaria, cancer, and HIV across the globe.
He noted the WHO will review how the withdrawal of funding would impact its projects and ‘will work with our partners to fill any financial gaps we face to ensure our work continues uninterrupted.’
Trump claims the group failed to investigate early signs of the virus’ ability to spread from one human to another and failed to call out China for its lack of transparency over the virus.
The United States funds $400 million to $500 million to the WHO each year – roughly 15 percent of the organization’s entire budget.
Meanwhile, per TCO, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has come out against President Trump’s decision to cut off funding to the World Health Organization.
“The President’s halting of funding to the WHO as it leads the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic is senseless,” Pelosi said in a statement. “This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged.”
Speaker Pelosi says on Trump halting WHO's funding:
“This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged.” pic.twitter.com/POj3dDqrdn
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) April 15, 2020
Pelosi’s opinion around the same time China called on Trump to reverse on the position.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian is calling on the U.S. to reverse on Trump’s decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization.
“We urge the United States to earnestly fulfill their responsibilities and obligations, and support the WHO-led international action against the epidemic,” Zhao said.
Zhao is the same Chinese diplomat who appeared to blame the US for the coronavirus by spreading a fringe conspiracy theory that the U.S. was somehow to blame. He later walked back the claim.
2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! pic.twitter.com/vYNZRFPWo3
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 12, 2020
Yahoo reports China said Wednesday it was “seriously concerned” about the US decision to suspend funding for the World Health Organization, and urged Washington to fulfill its obligations during the coronavirus crisis.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused the Geneva-based body of putting political correctness above life-saving measures as he ordered the funding freeze for “mismanaging” the pandemic.
“China is seriously concerned about the US announcement to suspend funding for the World Health Organization,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular press briefing.
“The current global epidemic situation is grim. It is at a critical moment. This US decision will weaken WHO’s capacities and undermine the international cooperation against the epidemic.”
The US and China have been sparring over the deadly virus, which was first reported in China and has killed more than 125,000 worldwide.
Trump’s latest decision reflects his belief that the WHO has been biased towards China, colluding to prevent the US’ main economic rival from having to be open about the unfolding health crisis.
“We urge the United States to earnestly fulfill their responsibilities and obligations, and support the WHO-led international action against the epidemic,” Zhao said, adding that the agency plays an “irreplaceable role” against the pandemic.