The World Health Organization late on Wednesday responded after United States President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw funding to the global health body. World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said they were reviewing the impact of the US’ funding withdrawal and would work with their partners to fill any financial gaps.
Ghebreyesus said he regretted Trump’s decision but that the WHO’s mandate was to “work with all nations equally, without regard to the size of their populations or economies”. “Covid-19 does not discriminate between rich nations and poor, large nations and small,” he said. “It does not discriminate between nationalities, ethnicities or ideologies.
The WHO’s performance in managing the pandemic will later be reviewed by member states, Ghebreyesus added. “No doubt, areas for improvement will be identified and there will be lessons for all of us to learn.”
But, he said, the WHO was “getting on with the job” and that there was no time to waste in the battle against the novel coronavirus. “…The faster all cases are found, tested, isolated & cared for, the harder we make it for the virus to spread.” It is a time to be united in “our common struggle against a common threat”, he reiterated.
Three vaccines for the novel coronavirus have begun clinical trials, with 70 more being developed. The WHO is also examining ventilation methods and the use of oxygen in Covid-19 patients, he said.
Donald Trump had withdrawn US funding, saying the WHO mismanaged the pandemic and had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus. The United Nations and many global leaders have condemned the US’ decision. The US was the largest sole funder of the WHO.
So far, Covid-19 has infected more than 20.62 lakh people globally and caused over 1.36 lakh deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Several nations are under lockdown to prevent further spread of the disease, including India.