Moneycontrol PRO
Open App
you are here: HomeNewsWorld

European Union urges Donald Trump to rethink cutting funding to WHO

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday urged Trump to reconsider, saying that “actions that weaken international results must be avoided” and that “now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions.”

May 30, 2020 / 09:07 PM IST

The European Union on Saturday urged US President Donald Trump to rethink his decision to cut American funding for the World Health Organisation amid global criticism of the move, as spiking infection rates in India and elsewhere served as a reminder the global pandemic is far from contained.

Trump on Friday charged that the WHO didn't respond adequately to the pandemic, accusing the UN agency of being under China's “total control.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday urged Trump to reconsider, saying that “actions that weaken international results must be avoided” and that “now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions.”

“The WHO needs to continue being able to lead the international response to pandemics, current and future,” she said.

“For this, the participation and support of all is required and very much needed.”


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more

The US is the largest source of financial support for the WHO, and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organisation.

Trump said the US would be “redirecting” the money to “other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” without providing specifics.

The WHO wouldn't comment on the announcement but South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize called it an “unfortunate” turn of events.

“Certainly, when faced with a serious pandemic, you want all nations in the world to be particularly focused ... on one common enemy,” he told reporters.

In China, where the virus outbreak began, only four new confirmed cases were reported Saturday, all brought from outside the country, and no new deaths. Just 63 people remained in treatment.

After judging the situation there now safe, a chartered flight carrying 200 German managers back to their jobs landed in Tianijin, a port city just east of Beijing. A flight carrying another 200 was due in Shanghai on Thursday.

“I'm really happy that business is starting again,” said Karin Wasowski, a Volkswagen employee, before boarding the flight in Frankfurt.

“I've been working from a home office but that is, of course, something completely different to being there.”

More than 5,200 German companies operate in China, employing more than 1 million people.

“This is an important step to reconnect China's and Germany's economies,” said Jens Hildebrandt, executive director of the German Chamber of Commerce in North China, which helped organize the flights.

“It is our common interest to contribute in helping the economy return to normalcy and pre-virus levels.” Close to 6 million coronavirus infections have been reported worldwide, with more than 365,000 deaths and almost 2.5 million recoveries, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The true dimensions are widely believed to be significantly greater, with experts saying many victims died without ever being tested.

As some countries have effectively lowered the rate of infections, they have been moving ahead with relaxing restrictions but are keeping a very close eye on developments.

In South Korea, credited with one of the most successful programs to fight the pandemic, there were 39 new cases reported Saturday, most of them in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have linked the infections to warehouse workers.

Authorities have so far maintained the phased reopening of schools in the hope that the recent transmissions could be contained quickly.

India registered another record single day jump of 7,964 cases and 265 deaths, a day before it was to end its 2-month-old lockdown.

That put the country's total cases at 173,763 with 4,971 deaths and 82,369 recoveries, according to the Health Ministry.

Russia recorded nearly 9,000 new cases overnight, around the daily level it has been at over the past two weeks as the virus continues to spread.

The national coronavirus task force said Saturday that 4,555 Russians have died of COVID-19, and 396,575 infections have been recorded.

The relatively low mortality rate compared with other countries has prompted skepticism domestically and abroad.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced two peacekeepers serving in Mali had died from the virus.

There have been 137 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among peacekeepers, the majority in Mali, but these were the first deaths.

The US has been worst hit by the outbreak, with more than 1.7 million cases and almost 103,000 deaths.

Cities and states are under increasing pressure to reopen, however, especially for service industries that had seen customer numbers evaporate.

The latest job-loss figures from the US Labour Department brought to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment since shutdowns took hold in mid-March.

But there have been worrying signs that as restrictions are eased, people have not been adhering to social distancing guidelines meant to help prevent the spread of the virus.

On Friday, health officials in Missouri said that they were seeking to “inform mass numbers of unknown people” after a person who attended crowded pool parties over Memorial Day weekend at the state's popular Lake of the Ozarks tested positive for COVID-19.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said Saturday that as things stand with the American pandemic situation, if Trump decides to go ahead with the Group of Seven summit in the US as he has suggested he might, she would not attend in person.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark