European Union Makes a Big Ask of Trump

EU wants president to reconsider cutting US funds to World Health Organization amid pandemic
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 30, 2020 8:30 AM CDT
EU's Plea to Trump on WHO: 'Now Is the Time' to Cooperate
Indians wait outside a popular eatery in Bengaluru, India, on Saturday. India started easing lockdown restrictions earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

The European Union on Saturday urged President Trump to rethink his decision to cut American funding for the World Health Organization 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. 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." 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," per the AP.

The US is the largest source of financial support for the WHO, and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organization. Trump said the US would be "redirecting" the money to "other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs," without providing specifics. As some countries have effectively lowered the rate of infections, they've been moving ahead with relaxing restrictions but are keeping a very close eye on developments. 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. The US has been worst hit by the outbreak, with more than 1.7 million cases and almost 103,000 deaths, as of Saturday morning. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said Saturday that, as things stand with the American pandemic situation, if Trump holds the G7 summit in the US, she won't go in person.

(Read more European Union stories.)

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