UN calls for solidarity against COVID-19 after Trump threatens to pull

UN calls for solidarity against COVID-19 after Trump threatens to pull funding

Coronavirus: UN calls for solidarity against COVID-19 after Trump threatens to pull funding

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said now is not the time to assess the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, calling instead for the international community to focus on working in solidarity to stop the virus.

“Once we have finally turned the page on this epidemic, there must be a time to look back fully to understand how such a disease emerged and spread its devastation so quickly across the globe, and how all those involved reacted to the crisis,” Guterres said in a statement. “But now is not that time.”

His statement came after US President Donald Trump sharply criticised the World Health Organization on Tuesday, accusing it of being too focused on China and issuing bad advice during the new coronavirus outbreak. He also said Washington was considering putting a hold on its funding for the organisation.
They called it wrong, they called it wrong. They missed the call. They could have called it months earlier,” Trump said, despite the WHO only being notified of the virus’ existence at the end of December. The pandemic was declared in early March.

“They would have known and they should have known and they probably did know. So we’ll be looking into that very carefully and we’re going to put a hold on money spent [sic] to the WHO.”
Trump later appeared to backtrack, saying the US was only going “look at” stripping funding, going on to say the WHO was “biased toward China”.

Guterres said the virus was “unprecedented in our lifetime and requires an unprecedented response”.

“Obviously, in such conditions, it is possible that the same facts have had different readings by different entities.”
The Secretary-General is due to privately brief the 15-member Security Council on the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday at the request of two-thirds of the body.

“Now is the time for unity, for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” Guterres said.

The US has been hit arguably the hardest of any country to date, with nearly 2000 people dying in the most recent 24-hour reporting period and a total confirmed infection count more than twice of any other country.

Critics have blamed Trump’s dismantling of the US’ pandemic response team last year as a big reason why.

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