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Johns Hopkins University has confirmed there have been 1.98 million people infected with COVID-19 around the world. It has also reported that 126,500 people have died while 486,500 people have recovered from the virus.
On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, the number of people in the U.S. rose by more than 2,228, the highest in a single day, to exceed 28,300. Additionally, there have been 600,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. This is three times more than any other country.
During these terrible and scary times, the World Health Organization is intently focused on saving lives and stopping COVID-19, regardless, U.S. President Donald J. Trump has decided to freeze funding to the WHO.
Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted, “There is no time to waste. WHO’s singular focus is on working to serve people to save lives and stop the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Trump said the WHO “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.” According to the president, the WHO promoted the misinformation from China about COVID-19, leading to a wider outbreak.
The U.S. is the largest contributor to the WHO budget, contributing $400 million in 2019, approximately 15 percent of the overall budget.
Secretary-General for the United Nations, Antonio Guterres stated that this is “not the time” to withhold resources from WHO.
“Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences.”
According to infectious diseases expert and senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Dr. Amesh Adalja, “The move sends the wrong message during the middle of a pandemic.” Adalja admitted the WHO has made mistakes and cited the 2013-15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The doctor said that reforms may be necessary, but that comes after the pandemic is over.
Trump said he is halting funding for the WHO pending a review. The purpose of the review is to discover what the WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
By Jeanette Vietti
Aljazeera: World reacts to Trump withdrawing WHO funding
News Ghana: Washington’s WHO funding freeze ill-timed, irresponsible
CNN: Trump haltsWorld Health Organization funding over handling of coronavirus outbreak
Image Courtesy of Matt Johnson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License