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Washington, Apr 15 (Canadian-Media): United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump's announcement Tuesday that he has instructed his administration to stop US funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) had shocked the world leaders, media reports said.
Donald Trump. Image credit: Facebook page
Health experts warned the move could jeopardize global efforts to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, as the United States is the organization's largest single donor.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday at a news briefing that while he was disappointed with Trump's decision to halt the fund, the organization will "try to fill any gaps with partners," after assessment of the impact the withdrawal will have on their work.
Trump had criticized the UN health agency for being too lenient on China, where the novel virus first emerged late last year. China's reported infections and deaths from the virus have been questioned by the outside experts saying that this way too low and unreliable.
European Union, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern all said that WHO was needed more than ever in tackling the pandemic.
Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, similarly pushed back, and wrote on Twitter that blaming others will not help as the virus knows no borders.
Sophie Harman, a professor of international politics at Queen Mary University of London said that things would have been different if Trump was successful in handling pandemic response in the U.S. But since things are getting worse which reinforces help from WHO.