Coronavirus: Bill Gates Says Trump's Decision To Halt WHO Funding Is 'As Aangerous As It Sounds'

Coronavirus: Bill Gates Says Trump's Decision To Halt WHO Funding Is 'As Aangerous As It Sounds'

Billionaire businessman Bill Gates defends the World Health Organisation, criticizing the decision by President Donald Trump to suspend support for the United Nations. Agency middle into the coronavirus outbreak.

Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, expressed support for the World Health Organisation in separate Twitter posts on early Wednesday, a day after President Trump announced that he is suspending United States funding while the agency's response to the coronavirus outbreak is being reviewed by the administration.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the massive philanthropy of the world, is the second largest donor to World health Organization after the United States, responsible for almost 10 per cent of support from the United Nations organization. 

As confirmed by Anne Gearan of The Washington Post, the president said on Tuesday that the pause in United States support will continue for 60 to 90 days "until a study is undertaken to determine the position of the World Health Organization and seriously mismanage and cover up the spread of coronavirus."

Deputy press secretary Judd Deere said, “Any suggestion that the President is putting the health and safety of the American people or global health aid in jeopardy is false.”

“The WHO’s response to COVID has been filled with one misstep after another, and President Trump is standing up for the American taxpayer to ensure we hold World health Organization accountable for their flawed actions.” 

Through his work at the charity Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has long focused on the health sector, though he still avoids digging into political issues. He was speaking out about the coronavirus pandemic though. He said the United States lost its opportunity to prevent mandatory shutdowns at the end of March because it did not move quickly enough on the pandemic. 

On Tuesday, President Trump said that his administration is halting World health Organization funding while it investigates how the department responded to the outbreak of coronavirus. Trump said the international health organization made mistakes because the virus continues to spread, "causing too much death."

The coronavirus has infected more than 1.9 million people worldwide and killed at least 125,678, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, since it emerged in Wuhan, China more than three months ago. The WHO on January 30 designated the virus as a global health emergency, when there were fewer than 10,000 confirmed cases worldwide. 

It is unclear exactly what mechanism Trump intends to use to withhold funding from the WHO, much of which Congress appropriates. Typically, the President does not have the authority to redirect congressional funding unilaterally. One option could be for President Trump using powers conferred on the president under the 1974 Impoundment Control Act. Under this law, the president may propose that Congressional Funds be withheld and actually halted for up to 45 days. 

And during that time, the president can seek approval from Congress to redirect the funds for another purpose. Without approval the funds must be returned after 45 days to their original mandated congressional purpose.

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