WHO’s “sole concern” is to help countries battling the Covid-19 pandemic to “save lives,” its director-general said Wednesday after US funding to the UN agency was suspended.
“There is no time to waste,” said the WHO director-general after U.S. funding to the agency was suspended. The only concern of the WHO is to help all people to save lives and to put an end to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on his Twitter account, without however explicitly mentioning the decision of US President Donald Trump.
The updated @WHO global #COVID19 strategy guides the public health response at national and subnational levels, including practical guidance for strategic action, tailored to the local context. https://t.co/08xlv7HLC4
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) April 15, 2020
At the heart of the controversy with the White House tenant, who accuses him of having played down the scale of the epidemic and delayed in alerting the world to its spread, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus then retweeted messages of support from politicians, researchers and anonymous people.
“I worked for WHO for 10 years on smallpox, polio, blindness, tsunami (victim) aid. I have worked with six Directors-General. For me, the @DrTedros and Gro Brundtland have been the best. There is a real political campaign against Dr. Tedros,” says American epidemiologist Larry Brilliant.
“Mismanagement,” according to Trump
Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he was suspending the United States’ contribution to the WHO because of its “mismanagement” of the pandemic.
In particular, Washington deplored that its own measures to deal with the crisis, including the gradual closure of its borders, had met “strong resistance” from WHO, which “continued to commend Chinese leaders for their ‘willingness to share information'”.
According to Donald Trump, the United States contributes “$400-500 million a year” to the organization, while China contributes about $40 million “and even less”, according to Trump.
The WHO rejects accusations of pro-Chinese bias, and says it will adjust its recommendations as scientific information on the behaviour of the new coronavirus, its transmission and ways to combat it becomes available. “WHO doesn’t make policy,” Mr Tedros insists.
The US decision to deprive the WHO of its contribution has been criticised by the United Nations, China, Russia, the European Union, the African Union and also Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, whose foundation is the largest private contributor to the WHO budget, based in Geneva.