Medical journal editor: Trump cutting WHO funding ‘a crime against humanity’

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The editor of a British medical journal is calling President Trump’s decision to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) pending a review of the global body’s response to the coronavirus pandemic a “crime against humanity.”

“President Trump’s decision to defund WHO is simply this—a crime against humanity,” Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, tweeted late Tuesday.

“Every scientist, every health worker, every citizen must resist and rebel against this appalling betrayal of global solidarity,” he added.

{mosads}Trump earlier Tuesday told reporters at the White House that he would suspend funding while administration officials “assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

The president also criticized the WHO for opposing large-scale travel restrictions he imposed and accused it of failing to quickly vet and share accurate information on COVID-19.

“The WHO’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above life-saving measures,” Trump said in the Rose Garden. “The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion.”

Trump said the administration’s review could last as long as three months.

Last week, he accused WHO of favoritism toward Beijing and rebuked it for opposing his travel restriction on China and said he was considering withholding funding.

The American Medical Association (AMA) late Tuesday called Trump’s decision a “dangerous step in the wrong direction” and urged him to reconsider.

“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,” the AMA said in a statement.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, meanwhile, said Wednesday that there was “no reason justifying” Trump’s move.

“Deeply regret US decision to suspend funding to @WHO. There is no reason justifying this move at a moment when their efforts are needed more than ever to help contain & mitigate the #coronavirus pandemic,” he tweeted. “Only by joining forces we can overcome this crisis that knows no borders.”

And Bill Gates said in a tweet that halting funding to the WHO amid 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 Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist added. “The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump funding The Lancet WHO World Health Organization

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