World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump’s decision to halt U.S. funds for the organization for failing to adequately warn about the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.
“We regret the decision of the president of the United States to order a halt in funding,” Adhanom said in a Wednesday press briefing, adding that the United Nations-back body will partner with others to fill gaps in funding to “ensure our work continues uninterrupted.”
BREAKING: WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: "We regret the decision of the president of the United States to order a halt in funding," but will work with partners to fill gaps in funding and "ensure our work continues uninterrupted." https://t.co/Jr7YgYCayr pic.twitter.com/jfthMPDCRK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 15, 2020
“Our commitment to public health, science, and to serving all the people of the world without fear or favor remains absolute,” the public health official added. “No doubt areas for improvement will be identified, and there will be lessons for all of us to learn. But for now, our focus…is on stoping this virus and saving lives.”
On Tuesday, President Trump announced he would freeze funding for the W.H.O. while his administration investigates the organization’s response to the outbreak.
The president said the W.H.O. was guilty of “mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus’ spread and affirmed that the group will face full accountability.
“America and the world have chosen to rely on the WHO for accurate, timely and independent information to make important public health recommendations and decisions,” the president said. “If we cannot trust that this is what we will receive from the WHO, our country will be forced to find other ways to work with other nations to achieve public health goals.”
As Breitbart News reported: “The W.H.O. claimed in January that ‘preliminary investigations’ by China found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus in Wuhan. Further, the organization called on countries to keep borders open despite labeling the massive outbreak a global emergency.”
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020
President Trump’s decision was met with criticism from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who called the move “as dangerous as it sounds.”
“Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever,” Gates wrote on Twitter.
In addition to Gates, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), responded thee decision by praising the W.H.O. as a “great partner.”
“I’m going to come back to the W.H.O. has been a long-term and still is a great partner for us. We’re going to continue to do all we can together to try to limit this,” he told CBS News. “We’re working side-by-side now in the Congo, the DRC, trying to bring the Ebola outbreak to an end. We’re working together on this coronavirus. I think it’s important for us at this point that we leave the analysis of what could have been done better and what maybe did well until we get through the outbreak and get it over.”