Apr 15, 2020 - Health

WHO chief reacts to Trump halting U.S. funds over coronavirus response

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing Wednesday that he "regrets" President Trump's decision to halt U.S. funding, pointing out that the coronavirus is not the only health crisis that the group works to combat.

The big picture: Tedros said the WHO is reviewing the impact that the withdrawal of U.S. funding will have on its operations, adding that the agency will work with its partners "to fill any financial gaps we face and to ensure our work continues uninterrupted." He also said that the agency's controversial response to the pandemic will be reviewed "in due course."

  • Since Trump's announcement on Wednesday, an array of world leaders, public health experts and business groups across have condemned the decision as short-sighted, especially as the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of blaming others instead of taking responsibility, adding in a statement: "This decision is dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged."

What he's saying:

"With support from the people and government of the U.S., WHO works to improve the health of many of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. WHO is not only fighting COVID-19. We're also working to address polio, measles, malaria, Ebola, HIV, tuberculosis, malnutrition, cancer, diabetes, mental health and many other diseases and conditions. We also work with countries to strengthen health systems and improve access to live-saving health services.
WHO is reviewing the impact of our work of any withdrawal of US funding and we work with our partners to fill any financial gaps we face and to ensure our work continues uninterrupted."
ā€” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

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