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Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Pledges $150 Million To Global Response To COVID-19

The co-founder of Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates pledged $150 million to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic as the US stops its funding.

Melinda Gates

After voicing worries over US President Donald Trump’s move of freezing funds for the World Health Organisation, the co-founder of Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates pledged $150 million to the global response to the coronavirus outbreak. Melinda claimed that citizens have “responsibility” to combat the global health crisis that has now infected over two million people in the world. Earlier, when Trump announced that the US would stop funding the United Nations health agency, Melinda had said that it is “as dangerous as it sounds” because “world needs WHO” especially during a pandemic. Now the additional contribution of $150 million to, the total commitment of the Gates Foundation to coronavirus outbreak becomes more than $250 million.

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The additional commitment of funds by Gates Foundation came as Trump accused WHO to be “China-centric” and said the organisation “failed in basic duty” of handling the outbreak. Celebrities to politicians, most people have raised concerns over the move by the US amid coronavirus outbreak. According to the official statement by Gates Foundation, the philanthropists can afford to take certain risks during the pandemic that “governments can’t and corporations won’t”. Therefore, in the wake of “emergency situation like this,” they have contributed funds for an effective fight against COVID-19 outbreak. 

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China 'seriously concerned' over US halting funds

China had said that it is “seriously concerned” over Trump's 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”. 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. 

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