Bill Gates, the billionaire, the philanthropist has said in the defense of the World Health Organization after Trump made an announcement of not providing funds from US agency amidst the coronavirus.
Co-founder of Microsoft and Melinda, his wife, spoke in support for the WHO in separate Twitter posts early Wednesday, a day after Trump announced that he is halting funds from the U.S. to WHO.
Gates in his tweet said that the funds halting for the WHO, when the world is facing a huge crisis, is very dangerous. The work done by WHO, their ideas are helping in the curb of the spreading of coronavirus and if they are stopped then no organization can take their place.
Deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement that suggestions which say that the President is pushing the health and safety of American people or health aid globally in danger of loss is wrong. He added that WHO’s actions towards COVID has been filled with many missteps and President Trump is standing up for the American taxpayer to ensure we hold WHO accountable for their flawed actions.
Health section has been the long focus for Gates though he often avoids diving into political issues. But, lately, he has been saying out on the COVID-19 a disease caused by the coronavirus. The United States has missed its chances to avoid this enforcement of lockdown as the US did not act fast enough against this outbreak, Gates added this statement in late March.
Trump’s administration is halting funding for the WHO as said by the President, Trump, as it investigates how the agency reacted to the coronavirus outbreak. Trump added that mistakes are being made by the international health agency that “caused so much death,” as the virus continues to spread.
As it has already spread in Wuhan, China, 3 months ago, the disease has infected more than 1.9 million people globally and the death toll has been to at least 125,678 as per the data collected by Johns Hopkins University. This virus has been declared as a global health emergency by the WHO on January 30, when there were fewer than 10,000 confirmed cases across the globe.
It is not exactly clear that what is Trump intending by withholding funding for WHO much of which is appropriated by Congress. The authority to unilaterally redirect congressional funding is not in the hands of the President.
There might be an option for Trump to make use of powers granted to the president under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. This act states that the president may propose to withhold congressional funds and halt them for up to 45 days.
In between that period, approval from congress could be sought by the president to redirect the funds for another purpose. If approval not gained then the funds after 45 days, will be returned to their original, congressionally mandated purpose.