WHO reacts to Trump‘s threat to cut off funding amid pandemic

TEHRAN, Apr. 08 (MNA) – The World Health Organization officials on Wednesday said that the acute phase of a pandemic was not the time to cut funding after US President Donald Trump said he would put contributions on hold.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, a senior advisor to the WHO Director-General, also defended the UN agency’s relationship with China, saying its work with Beijing authorities was important to understand the outbreak which began in Wuhan.

“This is what we did with every other hard-hit country like Spain and had nothing to do with China specifically.”

He also defended WHO recommendations to keep borders open, saying that China had worked very hard to identify and detect early cases and their contacts and ensure they did not travel in order to contain the outbreak.

“We are still in the acute phase of a pandemic so now is not the time to cut back on funding,” Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, told a virtual briefing in response to a question about Trump’s remarks, according to Reuters.

US President Donald Trump accused the World Health Organization for the spread of the coronavirus, threatening to stop financial aid to the organization.

Trump criticized the organization as being “very China-centric” for condemning his Jan. 31 travel ban, adding that he is considering stopping financial aids to the WHO.

The US president also said on Tuesday that Washington would put a “very powerful hold” on money it sends to the WHO. However, when asked if it was the right thing to do now, he said, “I’m not saying I’m going to do it, but we will look at ending funding.”

According to the WHO’s most recent notice of assessment, the United States was expected to pay $115,766,922 to the agency for the biennium of 2020-2021.

MNA/PR

News Code 157405

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