China and the European Union are pushing President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE to restore funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) after he announced late Tuesday that financial support would be halted pending a review of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese and European Union officials condemned the president’s decision to halt U.S. funding, which supported about 15 percent of WHO’s 2019 budget, amounting to more than $400 million, Reuters reported.
When asked whether China would fill the U.S.’s gaps in funding, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that Beijing “will look into relevant issues according to the needs of the situation,” according to the news service.
Zhao reportedly added that the pandemic was at a vital point and the U.S.’s lack of funding would affect worldwide efforts to fight coronavirus.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, joined the criticism, calling Trump's decision unjustified.
“Deeply regret U.S. decision to suspend funding to @WHO. There is no reason justifying this move at a moment when their efforts are needed more than ever,” Borrell tweeted. “Only by joining forces we can overcome this crisis that knows no borders.”
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. Only by joining forces we can overcome this crisis that knows no borders.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) April 15, 2020
Trump announced that the U.S. would stop funding WHO at his Tuesday press briefing until a review of the global health organization’s management of the coronavirus pandemic is undertaken.
“The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion,” the president said.
Democrats and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also blasted Trump’s decision, saying it will hurt the world’s response to the ongoing pandemic, in which nearly 2 million people worldwide have been infected and at least 127,590 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.