President Donald Trump wrote World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a letter released late Monday threatening to cut the United States' funding of the agency permanently over its early response to the coronavirus pandemic and alleged favoritism toward China.
Throughout the four-page letter, Trump reiterated a number of accusations and criticisms he had previously raised against the global agency. Trumps complaints included the W.H.O. acting too slowly to declare the virus a pandemic, ignoring early reports that were critical of China, and failing to provide proper travel advisories. Trump also claimed that the W.H.O. had ignored early reports of the virus's spread in Wuhan in early December, including a December report from Lancet medical journal. However, Lancet stated that Trump's assertion was "factually incorrect" in a response to the letter, noting that the first papers published on the novel coronavirus did not appear until January 24, 2020.
"It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world," Trump began to conclude his letter. "If the World Health Organization does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the WHO permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization. I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America's interests."
Nonetheless, member states at the W.H.O.'s virtual assembly's conclusion on Tuesday produced an unanimous resolution, including the United States and China, to support the W.H.O.'s coordinated effort in global cooperation in response to COVID-19 and later evaluation of the world's response.
"This is the time for all humanity to rally around a common cause," European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen stated during the assembly.
Total Global Cases: Over 4.98 Million
Total Deaths: Over 324,000
Total Recovered: Over 1.95 Million
Back to the Beginning
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that the state's coronavirus outbreak has slowed to levels comparable to March. During the state's Monday coronavirus press briefing, Cuomo stated that the number of fatalities, rate of new infection and daily number of hospitalizations related to the coronavirus continue to fall. This announcement marks a turning point for the state that had the largest outbreak in the United States.
"We're basically back to where we started before this tragedy descended upon us," Cuomo stated.
The number of COVID-19 deaths for the state with 105 on Monday, which is about the same number of lives lost on March 26, according to the governor. At the peak of New York's outbreak, daily deaths was close to 800.
Call for Aid
In a letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the members of California Governor Gavin Newsom's task force on business and jobs recovery urged Congress to approve an additional $1 trillion in spending for state and local governments.
According to CNBC, the letter was signed by almost 100 business leaders including Disney
"Reopening our economies is a welcome step forward, but the success of our efforts ultimately relies on building greater confidence among consumers that it is safe to shop and great certainty for workers that the services they rely on to do their jobs remain in place. Without that, we will be a re-opened economy in name only," the letter stated. "Because of the sudden drop in economic activity, many states, including California, will be force to make deep cuts to programs that help those same individuals."
The task force stated that funds given by the federal government would be critical to help states create necessary programs like contact tracing while still providing established public services.