The head of the World Health Organization said he “regrets” President Trump’s plan to suspend funding to the group as it coordinates the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We regret the decision of the President of the United States to order a hold in funding to the WHO,” Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing Wednesday.
“With the support of the people and government of the US, WHO works to improve the health of many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”
Tedros said it’s unclear how the organization’s largest contributor halting payments will impact its work.
“WHO is reviewing the impact on our work of any withdrawal of US funding and will work with our partners to fill any financial gaps we face and to ensure our work continues uninterrupted,” Tedros said.
Trump announced Tuesday that he is instructing his administration to halt funding while reviewing WHO’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, saying it failed to report accurate information from China during the early stages.
“The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable,” Trump said. “The WHO failed to investigate credible reports from sources in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts.”
He said American taxpayers “provide between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO.”