Bill Gates says Trump’s decision to stop funding WHO is “as dangerous as it sounds”

“Their work is slowing the spread of Covid-19 and if this work is stopped, no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO more than ever,” Microsoft founder and philanthropist said in a tweet.

The WHO declared the coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern in late January and a week later, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged up to $ 100 million to help contain the outbreak.

These funds, according to the foundation, would be used to help find a vaccine for the virus, limit its spread and improve detection and treatment.

This is not the first time the couple has donated funds to public health causes. In 2009, they worked to fight a tuberculosis epidemic in China, and a year later they spent up to $ 10 billion on vaccine research.

Bill Gates, who since March has warned of the effects of delayed social distancing measures, urged the United States to implement a nationwide shutdown, say that a state-by-state strategy would not work as effectively. He predicted that the number of coronavirus cases would peak at the end of April.

Trump’s decision to stop funding the WHO

Trump said a WHO review on Tuesday will cover its “role in mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.

“If the WHO had done its job to bring medical experts to China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to denounce China’s lack of transparency, the epidemic could have been contained at its source with very little dead, ”Trump said.

In response to criticism from the president last week, the head of the WHO presented a chronology of the organization’s actions in response to the pandemic, saying in a statement: “Please do not politicize the virus”.

“If you don’t want more body bags, please avoid politicizing it. My short message is: please quarantine the politicization of Covid. The unity of your country will be very important in defeating this dangerous virus,” said the WHO Director-General, Tedros. said Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Trump said the United States pays the WHO $ 400-500 million each year, adding that China pays “about $ 40 million.”

Gates’ concerns about the president The announcement echoed those made by the American Medical Association on Tuesday, which also called Trump’s move “dangerous.”

“During the worst public health crisis in a century, the halt in funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a dangerous step in the wrong direction that will not facilitate the defeat of Covid-19,” said the president of the association, Dr Patrice Harris. in a report.

Harris urged Trump to reconsider his decision, saying WADA was “deeply concerned about this decision and its far-reaching ramifications.”

– CNN’s Joe Sutton, Betsy Klein, Michelle Toh, Jennifer Hansler, Michael Nedelman and Jen Christensen contributed to this report.

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