Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to halt the United States’ funding of the World Health Organization for failing to properly warn the world about the Chinese coronavirus, calling the move “dangerous.” “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds,” Gates wrote on social media.
“Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”
Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) April 15, 2020
Earlier Tuesday, President Donald Trump criticized the W.H.O. for condemning his travel ban on China early on into the outbreak — a move that has been widely lauded by the nation’s top medical experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and key member of the White House coronavirus task force.
“The W.H.O.’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above life-saving measures,” the president said in his daily press briefing.
“We spend $500 million a year,” he continued, noting that China only contributes between $30 and $40 million annually.
“The WHO pushed China’s misinformation about the virus, saying it was not communicable and there was no need for travel bans,” he added. “The W.H.O.’s reliance on China’s disclosures likely caused a twenty-fold of cases worldwide, and it may be much more than that.”
President Trump has criticized the W.H.O. before, branding the United Nations-backed organization “very China-centric” for its advice not to enact a travel ban to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The W.H.O. really blew it,” the president wrote on Twitter. “For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?” The W.H.O. claimed in January that “preliminary investigations” by China found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus in Wuhan. Further, the organization called on countries to keep borders open despite labeling the massive outbreak a global emergency.