The European Union is calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to stop funding the World Health Organization in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic that is seeing spikes in India and elsewhere.
Trump announced his decision Friday, accusing the WHO of not responding adequately to the global outbreak and being under China’s “total control.”
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said in a joint statement Saturday that “The W.H.O. needs to continue being able to lead the international response to pandemics, current and future.”
“Actions that weaken international results must be avoided,” the EU officials added. “We urge the U.S. to reconsider its announced decision.”
Trump’s decision came after China pledged $2 billion last week to the WHO over the next two years to help contain the outbreak as COVID-19 cases increased sharply in India.
India reported a record daily increase of 7,964 new infections on Saturday, a continuation of a recent surge in cases as lockdown restrictions are beginning to be relaxed.
The recent surge increases the chances that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could extend curbs beyond May 31 after 65 days of lockdown.
Infection rates have also climbed in Israel, especially in schools that reopened weeks ago. The government said Friday it may reimpose restrictions if the trend continues. The number of new infections increased to 101 on Friday from four last Saturday.
In the U.S., states continued to reopen as the death toll topped a world-leading 103,000 and despite warnings from scientists that moves to reopen are premature. At least five U.S. states have reported record high numbers of new infections.
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, where COVID-19 has killed more than 20,000 people, said Friday New York City is on track to begin reopening on June 8. He said the city, the hot spot in the U.S., is meeting goals that have been established for hospital infection rates and testing.
Source: Voice of America