Public/Global Health

American Medical Association calls on Trump to reconsider ‘dangerous’ halting of WHO funding

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The American Medical Association (AMA) called on President Trump to reconsider halting U.S. funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) after he said he would cut off money to the group.

“During the worst public health crisis in a century, halting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) is a dangerous step in the wrong direction that will not make defeating COVID-19 easier,” AMA President Patrice Harris said in a statement Tuesday.

“Fighting a global pandemic requires international cooperation and reliance on science and data. Cutting funding to the WHO – rather than focusing on solutions – is a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world,” she added. “The AMA is deeply concerned by this decision and its wide-ranging ramifications, and we strongly urge the President to reconsider.”

The broadside against Trump comes shortly after the president said he will halt funding to the WHO while administration officials review the organization’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

“The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion,” Trump said at a press conference Tuesday.

The WHO has come under withering criticism from Trump and congressional Republicans over claims that it failed to properly analyze information about the coronavirus coming out of China, where the outbreak was first detected.

Conservatives have repeatedly cited Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s praise of China’s handling of the virus despite widespread reports that Beijing sought to downplay the extent of its outbreak.

“The mission of the WHO is to get public health information to the world so every country can make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who has called for a congressional probe into the WHO, said last month. “When it comes to Coronavirus, the WHO failed. They need to be held accountable for their role in promoting misinformation and helping Communist China cover up a global pandemic.”

Tags American Medical Association Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Pandemic WHO

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