United States President Donald Trump announced Tuesday night his decision to suspend US funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) while conducting a “review of the role” that the agency has played in the coronavirus pandemic, while he has been accused of “covering up” the disease.
The United States reached its record number of deaths from the coronavirus in one day on Tuesday, at least 2,375, so the total balance of deaths in the United States has exceeded 26,000.
According to the latest update of the data collected by Johns Hopkins University, the United States, the country most affected by the pandemic, accounts for 26,003 fatalities due to Covid-19, while the number of those infected is already 609,240.
However, the number of people affected by the coronavirus could be even higher due to the lack of diagnostic tests for Covid-19 in some areas of the country.
New York State continues to be the hardest hit in the North American country. So far, a total of 202,208 people have tested positive for coronaviruses, while the deceased are close to 11,000, 10,834.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state has already reached the “peak” of coronavirus infections, although he has insisted that the restrictive measures remain in place.
Cuomo noted that the incidence of the virus outside of New York City is relatively low. Thus, he has said that in the rest of the state the contagion curve has already flattened, except for some hot spots between which he mentioned Long Island and the counties of Westchester and Rockland.
Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has left more than 126,700 fatalities, while those infected are close to two million.
Review of WHO’s role
As stated by the US president during the daily press conference of the coronavirus working group at the White House, the review will take into account “the role of WHO in the mismanagement and cover-up of the spread of the coronavirus.”
He also assured that, while the United States imposed travel restrictions to China in the early stages of the pandemic, the WHO “opposed” the measures carried out by its Administration.
“Other nations and regions that followed the WHO’s recommendations and kept their borders open to China accelerated the pandemic worldwide,” he added, according to the CNN television network.
“The decision of other large countries to keep travel active was one of the great tragedies and missed opportunities from the first days,” he asserted. In his view, travel restrictions “work for the same reason quarantines work.”
In this sense, Trump has pointed out that the Covid-19 could have been contained with lower mortality figures if it had not been for “the lack of transparency of China”. He also said that the WHO did not previously report on the dangers of the virus, including the fact that it could be spread from person to person.
In addition, he suggested that the decisions of the WHO, which he assessed as “very focused on China”, may have caused an increase in deaths due to the coronavirus and that the body has not recognized its own mistakes, which have been “many”. “There have been many deaths due to their mistakes,” he criticized.
The United States allocates more money than any other country to the WHO, according to the television network CBS. “It is not a question of money, but it is not right,” the US president has insisted. In parallel, he explained that the funds that the United States allocates to WHO will be redirected to other global health aid groups.
Trump, who has launched harsh criticism of the body in recent days, had already threatened to freeze the $ 500 million (457 million euros) with which the United States contributes to the WHO.
After the press conference, the White House commercial adviser, Peter Navarro, has intervened on Fox News and has defended the decision of the US president, referring to the fact that the WHO has “blood on his hands.”
“Basically they hid information,” Navarro has criticized. “They failed to call this a pandemic long after others had legitimately done so,” he added.
“And there is blood on his hands. I think President Trump has every reason to start a full investigation into how this happened and what China’s role might have been because we cannot have a World Health Organization that is going to fail in a pandemic and that’s what has happened,” he riveted.
For its part, the American Medical Association (AMA) has valued that Trump’s decision is a “dangerous” movement in the context of the current pandemic and has urged him to “reconsider it.”
“During the worst public health crisis in a century, suspending funding to WHO is a dangerous step in the wrong direction that will not make it easier to beat Covid-19,” said AMA President Dr. Patrice A. Harris, in a statement.
For Harris, “fighting with global pandemic requires international cooperation and trust in science and data.” “Cutting funds to WHO, instead of focusing on solutions, is a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world,” he insisted, while showing WADA’s “deep concern” in this regard and for the “broad ramifications” of the decision.
Reopen the USA
On the other hand, Trump has assured that the plans to reopen the United States when the coronavirus pandemic subsides are close to ending, while he has stated that he will speak “soon” with the governors of the 50 states and authorize them to implement plans in their territories.
In this context, he has specified that he can recommend opening some territories before May 1, the target date that the White House manages.
However, and despite the messages previously released, in which he reaffirmed his “total” authority over the governors, Trump has recognized this Tuesday that it is they who will determine when to reverse the orders of confinement and reactivate their economies.
Trump’s words have been well received by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “It is good that the president has finally recognized that it is the Constitution that authorizes the governors to reopen their states. And I appreciate it,” Pritzker said in a press conference picked up by CNN.
In this sense, he has agreed with the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who had previously considered that the United States “has a Constitution, not a king.” “Cuomo was right when he said that the president is not a king. He is the president of the United States,” he said.
The United States is the country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, both in the number of cases and deaths. Specifically, it accounts for more than 600,000 positives, while fatalities exceed 25,500.