Bill Gates condemns President Trump for stopping WHO funding
We must insist on truth, says US Speaker Pelosi
President Trump says US will stop funding the World Health Organization, accusing it of mismanagement
His announcement is widely condemned, with Bill Gates calling it “as dangerous as it sounds”
UN Secretary General António Guterres says it is “not the time” to cut WHO resources
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have said US President Donald Trump’s decision to halt funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) is “as dangerous as it sounds”.
“The world needs WHO now more than ever,” they responded on Twitter.
Their organisation, the Gates Foundation, is one of the WHO’s largest donors.
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.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) April 15, 2020
US President Donald Trump decided to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has also launched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump, hours after he announced the US would halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Americans must ignore lies and start to listen to scientists and other respected professionals in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” she said in a statement.
She said the president “ignored… warnings, took insufficient action and caused unnecessary death and disaster”, adding that shortages of tests and protective equipment were threatening lives.
“There are important decisions ahead,” she went on to say. “But if we are not working from the truth, more lives will be lost, economic hardship and suffering will be extended unnecessarily and our children will not be safe, happy and learning.”
What other organisations has the US left?
If the US stops funding the WHO permanently, it will cease to become a member. It would not be the first international organisation or agreement it has left:
- UN Human Rights Council: The US announced its withdrawal in June 2018, accusing the UNHRC of “unending hostility towards Israel”
- The Paris climate agreement: President Trump confirmed the withdrawal last year – it will take effect this year
- The Iran nuclear deal: Mr Trump called the deal “embarrassing” when withdrawing in 2018. Remaining European signatories have since accused Iran of numerous breaches
- International Criminal Court: The US has never been a member of the ICC and in 2018, then-National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US would stop co-operating entirely
- Trans-Pacific Partnership: Days into his presidency, Mr Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the 12-nation trade deal
- Unesco (part one): The US announced its withdrawal from the UN cultural organisation in 1984, citing, among other things, “endemic hostility toward the institutions of a free society”
- Unesco (part two): After rejoining under President George W Bush, the US stopped paying fees in 2011, under President Obama, in protest at Palestinian admission. The US lost its voting rights in 2013
- Unesco (part three): The US announced its full withdrawal in 2017, citing “anti-Israel” bias