Dr. Tedros Says Trump is ‘Supportive,’ Hopes U.S. Won’t Cut Funding

Sketch of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. (Image via Dagi Pen Art @dag_doni/Twitter)

The Washington Post

WHO’s Tedros says Trump is ‘supportive,’ hopes U.S. won’t cut funding as threatened
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that his relationship with President Trump remained good, despite the U.S. leader’s threats to cut funding to the global health body.

“What I know is that he is supportive and I hope that the funding to WHO will continue. The relationship we have is very good and I hope that will continue,” Tedros said at a briefing in Geneva, noting that the two had last spoken two weeks ago and that the United States was the largest donor to WHO.

Trump is likely to announce restrictions on U.S. funding for the WHO this week over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as the administration and conservative allies ramped up their criticism that the United Nations agency catered to China early in the outbreak and jeopardized global health.

Trump hinted at a temporary hold on U.S. funding Friday but said he wanted to wait until after Easter to announce anything. He said his administration would discuss the organization “in great detail” this week, adding that he did not want to go further “before we had all the facts.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials are expected to recommend to Trump how to dock or condition payments to the agency.

At their news briefing Monday, WHO officials pushed back on criticism voiced by Trump and other U.S. officials who said that the organization had overlooked evidence of human-to-human transmission in the early days of the outbreak.

Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit, said that it was always assumed that human-to-human transmission was possible and noted that the possibility was included in advisories Jan. 10 and 11. Van Kerkhove also said she mentioned it herself at a Jan. 14 news conference.

“In fact, that got quite a few headlines,” Van Kerkhove said.

Read more here.


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