US President Donald Trump has announced he is halting funding to the World Health Organisation while a review over their response to the coronavirus pandemic is conducted.
Trump said the review would cover the WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus”
“So much death has been caused by their mistakes.
“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into china to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death,” Trump said.
The United States provides a substantial volume of money to WHO each year in its work on global health threats.
And now is a bad time to cut back, according to University of Sydney pandemic expert Adam Kamradt-Scott.
“It would be a very short-sighted and ultimately unproductive move to cut funding to the WHO in the middle of a pandemic,” he told 9News.com.au.
“It would not only disadvantage the United States, but have an immediate effect on many countries around the world.”
READ MORE: G7 to discuss coronavirus pandemic in video meeting
The coronavirus pandemic has seen governments around the world turn inwards, focusing their resources on combating the disease domestically.
But ignoring the plight of developing countries at this time could be deeply problematic.
“It’s in our self-interest to make sure that all countries have the resources to contain this pandemic,” Dr Kamradt-Scott said.
“Whatever country isn’t able to do that will remain a potential source of transmission for the virus.”
“We really need to focus collectively on what is a collective threat, and the World Health Organisation is critical to that.”
Congress in recent years has blocked efforts by the Trump Administration to slash funding for the WHO.
What does the World Health Organisation do?
WHO is the global body tasked with responding to health emergencies like pandemics.
With nearly 200 member states, WHO has a higher membership than the United Nations.
“The World Health Organisation is critical when it comes to responding to health emergencies like pandemics,” University of Sydney pandemic expert Adam Kamradt-Scott said.
“It is charged with trying to coordinate the international response.”
READ MORE:How social distancing can halt the spread of coronavirus
The World Health Organisation has warned countries to up their defences against coronavirus amid a ‘decisive point’ and a potential global pandemic.
WHO also works to coordinate vaccine stockpiles, which will be particularly critical if there is a vaccine breakthrough with coronavirus.
And it may soon be playing a larger role in coordinating stockpiles of personal protective equipment (PPE) like face-masks and gloves.
As many governments have begun to outbid each other to access dwindling supplies of PPE, a coordinated stockpile may prove necessary.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and are used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.