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Who's who of the world react to Trump's WHO move

Who's who of the world react to Trump's WHO move

The United Nations reacted sharply to United States President Donald Trump's announcement yesterday that he was halting funding for the UN health agency. “Now is a time for unity in the global battle to push the Covid-19 pandemic into reverse, not a time to cut the resources of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is spearheading and coordinating the global body’s efforts,” said UN chief António Guterres.

Trump has slammed the WHO for getting too cozy with Beijing. At a time when the world was banning travellers from China, the WHO was recommending against imposing travel restrictions. "As the organization's leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability. One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations," said Trump.

After the US, which contributes more than 15 per cent of its budget, China is agency's second largest benefactor.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates didn’t like the US decision. He tweeted: "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."

The billionaire businessman has been advocating a lockdown in the entire country since long to contain the Covid-19 crisis.

Criticism coming in from China after Trump's announcement was obvious. "As the most authoritative and most professional organization, the World Health Organization has played an irreplaceable role in global public health crisis. The decision of the US will undercut the ability of the WHO and damage the global cooperation of fighting the epidemic," said China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Russia's state-run TASS news agency reported an angry reaction from country's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “[We] call on the US to abandon further attacks on the WHO and pursue a responsible policy that will not destroy the framework of international cooperation in the biomedical field—but rather strengthen this partnership and create the basis for its further improvement. This is a blow to this organization at a time when the international community is relying on it—and this is a step that deserves to be condemned,” he said.

But Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has been quite critical of China recently, spoke in favor of Trump.

“We work closely with them (WHO), so that we’re not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater here,” Morrison told Perth Radio 6PR. “But they’re also not immune from criticism.”.