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WHO Chief Expresses Regret Over Trump Decision to Withhold Funding


FILE - World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, March 6, 2020.
FILE - World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a daily press briefing on COVID-19 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, March 6, 2020.

The secretary-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed regret over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withhold funding from the organization.

At his usual White House briefing Tuesday in Washington, Trump said he was instructing his administration to withhold funding for the WHO pending a review of its role in what he described as "severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus."

At a briefing Wednesday in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.S. has been a long-standing and generous donor to the organization and hopes it will continue to be in the future. He said the WHO is still assessing the impact of Trump's decision and will try to fill in the gaps with the help of other partners.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the U.N. health agency for being too lenient on China, where the novel virus first emerged late last year.

The United States is WHO's largest single donor, contributing between $400 million and $500 million annually to the Geneva-based agency in recent years.

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