US President Donald Trump is cutting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its handling of the pandemic. The US is the biggest contributor to the WHO budget.
- The number of people dying from coronavirus in the US rose by at least 2,228 - the highest in a single day - on Tuesday to exceed 28,300. The country also has more than 600,000 reported cases, three times more than any other country
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the global economy is expected to shrink by 3 percent this year - the biggest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
TRUMP AND WHO IN A GRIDLOCK?
The president said he would halt funding for the organization because it caused “so much death” in the way it “pushed Chinese misinformation,” though he himself effusively praised China’s handling of the virus.
The announcement came as Mr. Trump was criticized for being too slow and ineffective in implementing public health measures that could contain the virus.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday issued a blistering attack on the president for his handling of the pandemic, asserting that Mr. Trump had caused “unnecessary deaths and economic disaster” by ignoring early warnings about the disease, bungling the federal response and refusing to take responsibility.
“Everybody knows what is going on there,” he said, blaming the organization for what he described as a “disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”
The USA has been a strong financial backbone, contributing about $553 million of the W.H.O.’s $6 billion budget, and pulling out will leave a dent in global health.
Trump holds the WHO responsible for a 20-fold increase in cases worldwide?
Mr. Trump has been defensive about his decision to institute early travel restrictions on China, crediting himself with saving lives while sustaining criticism for being xenophobic and racist.
He said that decision saved “thousands and thousands of lives,” and that the W.H.O. “fought us.” The president blamed the organization for a “20-fold” increase in cases worldwide.
As of Tuesday, there had been about two million cases of the virus worldwide, and nearly 125,000 deaths. In the United States, there have been over 600,000 cases and 25,000 deaths from the virus.