The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, has been diplomatic in his reply to Donald Trump this afternoon after the American announced that he was freezing his contribution to the organization: “We regret the President’s decision to order the suspension of funding to the WHO”, has limited to answer. Trump had based his decision on the mismanagement that, in his opinion, this institution had made from the spread of Covid-19. And also of his political relations, accusing the WHO of being “china-centric“.
Adhanom has repeated that “the United States has been an old and generous friend of the WHO, and we hope that it continues being it”. In addition, he has insisted that the organization does much more than fight coronavirus. “With the support of the people, we work to improve the health of many of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world,” he admitted and recalled that “we are also working to tackle polio, measles, malaria, Ebola, HIV, tuberculosis, malnutrition, cancer, diabetes, mental health and many other diseases and conditions.”
However, given the setback of not having US money, “WHO is reviewing the impact on our work of any funding withdrawals and we will work with our partners to fill the financial gaps we face and to ensure that our work continues without interruptions,” said Adhanom, who has also argued that, as has happened since 1945, when the WHO was founded after World War II, “our mission and mandate is to work with all nations equally, regardless of the size of their populations or economies”, assuming that “the Covid-19 does not discriminate between rich and poor nations, large and small nations. It does not discriminate between nationalities, ethnic groups or ideologies”.
The WHO Director-General has also assured that “this is a time for all of us to be united in our fight against a common threat: a dangerous enemy”, since “when we are divided, the virus exploits the differences between us“. Adhanom has argued that “in due course” the time will come to be accountable for managing the fight against the pandemic. “Undoubtedly, areas for improvement will be identified and there will be lessons for all of us, but for now, our focus is to stop this virus and save lives,” said Adhanom.
Other countries have harshly criticized Trump’s decision, such as Russia, which has branded the decision as “very selfish and alarming” and has insisted that “it is a step that deserves to be condemned.” For its part, the United Kingdom has stated that it will continue to support the WHO without appreciating Trump’s words. This decision has also been regretted by the European Union.