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The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday expressed “regret” that President Trump intends to cut off U.S. funding to the agency over its handling of the coronavirus, but pointedly avoided criticizing the U.S. move.

Instead, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed the importance of global unity in the face of the pandemic.

“This is a time for all of us to be united in our common struggle against a common threat,” he told reporters from the agency’s WHO headquarters in Geneva. “When we are divided, the coronavirus exploits the cracks between us.”

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Tedros added: “For now, our focus, my focus, is on stopping the coronavirus and saving lives. … WHO is getting on with the job.”

The remarks came a day after Trump — whose name Tedros did not utter — signaled the United States would halt its financial support of the WHO, pending an investigation into the agency and its response to the coronavirus outbreak. He accused the agency of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

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Tedros said the WHO would review the impact of the U.S. decision on its work, saying the agency would “work with our partners to fill any financial gaps we face and to ensure our work continues uninterrupted.” He also stressed that, while the WHO is focused on the pandemic, it also serves a role in responding to myriad health issues around the world, including disease around the world like polio, measles, and malaria, along with mental health conditions and non-communicable diseases.

Earlier Wednesday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demurred when asked if the global health agency had failed, as Trump has suggested, and if it was wise to halt funding the midst of a pandemic.

“CDC and WHO has had a long history of working together in multiple outbreaks throughout the world, as we continue to do in this one,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said on “Good Morning America.” “And so, we’ve had a very productive public health relationship. We continue to have that.”

  • Chinese conspiracy theory that the WHO ‘covered up’ the Chinese generated pandemic. They reported what the Chinese government said. True or not true reporting by the Chinese does not make the WHO reporting what they said a ‘cover up’.

    Exactly how did the WHO ‘mismanage’ the developing pandemic. They work with the GOVERNMENTS in the world. They do not and would not be allowed to do anything in any country without their permission. Duh! Folks.

    The failures and mismanagement belong to the governments of the world’s countries. No country was prepared. A coronavirus mutation pops up about every 10 years. MERS, SARS. H1 N1 and now coronavirus 19.

    The WHO reported in 2011 about the worlds handling of the H1N1 virus pandemic and made recommendations about how countries should be prepared for the next outbreak. The worlds countries did not implement their recommendations. Clearly, they knew what needed to be done and said so. How is that THEIR mismanagement?

    Donald always points the finger of blame away from himself. Blamed program cuts on Obama as why America was unprepared. Geezze. Donnie has been in office for over 3 years. If it was broke as he said, it is his responsibility to FIX IT. Instead he cut the budget of the CDC. Who’s fault it that? HIS.

    To be fair, every head of state in the world got caught unprepared.

    And the Chinese are using their money to manipulate the world including this pandemic? I do not get where they connect those two dots. The Chinese are not about to create world wide pandemic NOR nuke the US because it would be economic suicide for their country.

    Jim Osekowsky, I would like very much to also listen to his first response to the virus. To see for myself what he said. Source? Please.

    • Sorry Dale but Tedros did far more than simply report the Chinese lies.

      He met with Xi in January and immediately told the world as the leader of WHO that the Chinese response to the Wuhan virus, which he decided to rename COVD-19 due to Chinese sensibilities was “excellent”. Why? when the PRC clearly tried to cover it up by silencing doctors who reported it, by destroying samples of the virus and research reports over a month before allowing others to see it, by not allowing the WHO or the US CDC into Wuhan for critical weeks in Dec and early January despite treaty obligations mandating such access.

      At the same time he chose to castigate Western and other Asian leaders who properly shut the border to mainland Chinese to try to lower the immediate risk of the disease spreading .

      Finally, I assume he ordered the WHO, or under his control at the very least, they ignored the urgent warnings being sent by Taiwan as to human to human transmission. In each there is a pattern. Total deference to the desires of the Chinese leader, Xi, BUT a total willingness to criticize other leaders that the Chinese were at that time criticizing.

      Now you and I can speculate why. Perhaps it was because Tedros was a revolutionary and likes Chinese Communists, Perhaps because he was accused by a number of Western Aid organizations when in position in Ethiopia of covering up his nation’s cholera epidemic several times and therefore not a worthy candidate for heading the WHO? Perhaps it is payback because, as everyone now knows, the PRC championed him to be the first non MD to ever head the WHO, perhaps money is being delivered “under the table” Who knows? I certainly don’t pretend to know the motivations.

      But to say that Tedros is not leaning toward China and away from the US (which provides about 10 times the dollars provided by the PRC) simply will not fly.

      The man, if he had any self respect, should resign…and then the WHO would I am sure have US funding restored—or if he has no self respect and wants to continue to lead WHO he can get the money from his friend XI since he is doing Xi’s bidding.

    • You sound like you have detailed information. That is what I asked the source for. There is so much internet junk out there, I have to be skeptical but also want to know the facts. Facts I can verify from another source.

      Mixed in with your alleged facts is heavily weighted political statements that again you state as fact but offer no source. If what you say is true, document a source I can verify independently. Without it, your credibility is marginal and arguments mute and unsubstantiated.

      For example “destroying samples of the virus and research reports ” Source?

      ” ignored the urgent warnings being sent by Taiwan as to human to human transmission.” Who said they ignored it?

      “Ethiopia of covering up his nation’s cholera epidemic several times” This was well known. How could he cover it up. Again it is up to the government to decided how to manage an outbreak. WHO has no authority to make a government do anything.

      You say you have no idea of his motivations. Perhaps he had NO evil motives.
      Please substantiate you sources of information. I would really like to know the facts. Where else has it been reported as you say.

  • It was said that America needs to be brought down before it can recover from its debt. Some believed that Trump was the only CLOWN foolish enough to destroy the USA, because of his inability to manage any business without bankrupting it. A pitiable complete DOTARD. Maybe once the country of fools begins to consume itself, like an isolated Leningrad, the rest of us can get on with making the world better for everyone, which was what the original America was trying to do. What kind of a SIMPLETON would defund the World Health Organization in a pandemic, after sh!tt!ng the bed so completely? He’s like that guy in Trainspotting pulling the sheets to from the mother of the underage girl he just screwed, so he can launder them before anyone sees that he pooped the bed. Well everyone sees the huge pile of diarrhea and knows that the BABY MAN who farted it out was CHEERLEADER TRUMP, and now the crap is all over your faces. USA is no longer the most powerful nation, and it no longer leads the free world. The US has become a third world nation, and Americans are complicit fools of racism and fear-mongering. America, you made your bed, now you must sleep in it.

    • Trumplestilskin….another Chinese paid troll hiding under a fictitious name. Notice how they are always afraid of using a Chinese name, as though that will conceal their propaganda origins.
      Don’t worry, My Chinese “friend” US, European, Japanese and Korean ingenuity shall ultimately triumph over the PRC’s horrible string of lies that made its wet market/lab release of the virus so much worse for the entire world

  • It is unfortunate that we only seem to be scrutinizing President Trump and seemingly turn a blind eye to the atrocious way that the WHO has handled this outbreak. This is a global pandemic – one that they told us was no big deal months ago.

    Why are we not reading about the blunders, failures, missteps, and other bungled responses to this pandemic by the WHO? We have to ask ourselves who Ms. Branswell is trying to support here? Is she a supporter of the people or is she a supporter of the WHO, unable to criticize?

    The WHO is seemingly more of a political organization than a health organization. They have shown us throughout this pandemic that they are woefully ill equipped to deal with actual widespread health issues. Yet here we have Ms. Branswell invoking the Trump name in this article.

    If anybody is interested, Ms. Branswell hosted an AMA on reddit (you can find it here:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/frqgu8/science_discussion_series_were_science/)

    During this AMA, she was abysmal in answer questions related to the trustworthiness of information coming out of China and in turn, the WHO’s actions or inactions based on information coming out of China. We need to question her journalistic integrity and dig a little bit deeper about who she is really working for. It is clearly not to provide truth to the people.

    The WHO should be heavily scrutinized and their abject failures should be investigated. Supporting a failed organization by throwing endless amounts of money at it will not do any good if they can’t get anything right. They have failed the people of the world. The ones that will benefit from this and from measures the WHO will take are the pharmaceutical industries, authoritarian governments that will be able to force untested vaccinations with unknown side effects, the financiers of the “cure”, and other well connected people. Follow the money and you’ll see who the WHO is actually working for.

    Ms. Branswell is not a journalist of science. She is a political journalist, using this horrible issue to push her own agenda. Beware.

    • Dear Watchful. Very well thought out response. Unfortunately it has become increasingly apparent that for sone people their hatred of the President “trumps” any attempt at objectivity. If he dislikes someone or something….why obviously he is wrong, because he is ALWAYS wrong. This magical thinking allows truly evil people like Xi in China and the head of WHO, who may not be evil per se but clearly has allowed Chiba to determine WHO policy too escape their criticism because, after all, “we all know Trump and his followers are ignorant and evil, the NYT and CNN tell us that on a daily basis, and they NEVER lie, right?”

  • I would easily believe China uses it’s influence and especially it’s cash to influence decisions throughout the world ; try the belt road and initiative and the BILLIONS and BILLIONS loaned to countries all over the world to control their natural resources ; it would not surprise me at all about payments here too

  • The readers comments seem remarkably more informed than the Globe article—an article which does not consider it import to mention why Trump believed the WHO so badly mismanaged the crisis in the first place.

  • It’s unfortunate that the United States has suspended funding to the W.H.O. Suspended (keyword!) The United States has been in the past, in total confidence of the W.H.O This being apparent, with a healthy communication level & top supporter efforts by the USA. Followed by all other supporters in other countries. That additude has been consistent. So what went wrong? This being a critical unforeseen devastation in our worlds history. Was it truly unforeseen? Definitely a devastation! The hardship for the USA and astronomical number of other countries suffering, is insurmountable! This has changed lives forever! We have shut down, literally shut down! One can’t help but to re-string the time line. The experts of advisories, of whom we put our trust and value in. It’s clear, that a good leader can always delicate. It’s fair to say, that the W.H.O has done a great job and has earned respect across the world. There has not been to much media in the past of concern. You gain a good reputation, with traction and power. So, was the problem power or misdirected power or power struggle? I feel the W.H.O may have had some power struggles more or less. This brought on by some of their affiliations. It’s just a hunch. They in my opinion, failed to see the bigger picture of truths & consequences. It’s not fair to loose out to power struggles with unforeseen business associations. The W.H.O to me represents health & safety. Not cover up’s and shady business associations. Those can’t mix toghther. Not when your SURVAILANCE to the world of health. I’m assuming, how we’ll conduct business affairs in general & in future. Will be more on the defensive side of being aware of alot of unthinkables. Our world is sick right now, it is also healing at the same time. The obvious is apparent, we rely on alot of other countries to do too many things for our own country. SURVAILANCE for Pandemic portions. Just maybe one that needs to be shared in the future. Not just left to one highly influenced power struggle entity. Not being transparent in a crisis. So manyt
    truly respected the W.H.O. Also, may once again. They need a time out, to truly come to a realization the impact this has had. Maybe the W.H.O can conduct themselves in a more “United Way” in the future! Leaders in general should see the mistakes and the efforts of correction brought to the table. Then decide how to reinstate and appoint. I applauded the United States President Trumps decision. The W.H.O has alot to consider when it comes to business and especially lives. We will all point fingers of course. Except even God says, your held more accountable if you know better. Time to cut out the problem and join the solution.

  • It is not like Donald Trump is closing down the WHO.
    As I understood, he wants an audit to see if the organization is run according to the principles it was founded on. To me, it sounds reasonable, especially knowing who backed up Tedros in the election process and how it might affect the WHO policy with some big players.
    The whole UN needs to be audited.
    So much money spent with no control.

  • How much.money China pay I guys for cover up??? Please let me know because I’m a world citizen

  • Certainly the right decision to stop funding the WHO. Also the UN Human Rights Council needs to be fully defunded by every responsible government. What do current council members like Burkina Faso, Venezuela, Pakistan understand about human rights??? And past members like Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Not much.

    • Sadly, the UN and some of its umbrella organization had become corrupt over time. It cease to serve the purpose of why it was founded. Maybe it is also time for UN to be dissolve.

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