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15 Apr, 2020 07:56

WHO is ‘one of the best investments’: German FM blasts US after Trump cuts health organization’s funding

WHO is ‘one of the best investments’: German FM blasts US after Trump cuts health organization’s funding

Providing money to the “underfunded” World Health Organization is among the best ways to help develop a vaccine against Covid-19, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said after Trump halted the WHO’s funding.

“Apportioning blame doesn't help. The virus knows no borders,” Maas wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

We have to work closely together against Covid-19. One of the best investments is to strengthen the UN, especially the under-funded WHO, for example for developing and distributing tests and vaccines.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said that he had suspended the funding of the WHO pending a review to assess the "organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus." He accused the UN-led organization of failing to accurately report information about Covid-19 during the early stages of the outbreak.

The US had been among the WHO’s top donors, contributing $893 million, or about 15 percent, of the agency’s current two-year budget.

Also on rt.com ‘Now is not the time!’ UN chief says WHO is ‘critical’ in global war against Covid-19 as US cuts funding to probe its ‘China ties’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized Trump’s decision, saying that the middle of a pandemic is not the time for finger-pointing and withdrawing support for the WHO.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters on Wednesday that Trump’s move against the global health agency “will weaken the WHO’s capacity and undermine international cooperation in the fight against epidemics.” 

“We urge the United States to thoroughly fulfill its responsibilities and obligations, and to support the WHO in its lead in epidemics response,” Zhao said.

The US remains the country hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 600,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a nationwide death toll of 22,252 on Tuesday. The largest hotspot is New York state, where more than 200,000 have tested positive for the disease.

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