China has said that it is “seriously concerned” over US President Donald Trump's recent announcement of America ceasing funds of WHO amid a global health crisis. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to tighten its grip around the world with more than two million confirmed cases, Chinese official Zhao Lijian reportedly said at a press briefing that the decision by Washington “will weaken WHO’s capacities”. He added that by not funding the World Health Organisation, US “will undermine international cooperation against the epidemic”.
US had previously threatened the United Nations health agency to stop funding and accused the latter of being “China-centric”. However, Trump officially announced on April 14 (local time) that the country will halt funds to WHO and the American authorities will review the “mismanaging” of COVID-19 outbreak. While China urged the US to fulfill its obligations especially during the pandemic, Trump has said that “WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable”.
According to international media reports, Trump claimed that US used to fund at least $400 - $500 million to the World Health Organisation, every year, whereas China roughly funded $40 million. Moreover, the US President also believes that the outbreak would have been contained in the early stages if WHO had urged China to be more transparent and sent medical experts to the mainland for assessment of the situation.
Just a day before the US declared freezing of its funds to WHO, WHO director-general ‘hoped’ that US would continue to contribute money. While answering a question by an American journalist on April 13, World Health Organisation chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called Trump “supportive” and claimed to have a “very good” relationship that “will continue”.
Meanwhile, after originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed over 126,776 lives worldwide as of April 15. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 210 countries and has infected at least 2,000,734 people. Out of the total infections, 484,831 have been recovered but the easily spread virus is continuing to disrupt many lives. Major cities have been put under lockdown in almost all countries and the economy is struggling.