By Chand Bellur
April 14, 2020 at 5:55 p.m. PT
- Donald Trump vows to withhold funding for the WHO amid a pandemic.
- Apple pledged to donate $10 Million to the WHO as part of the “One World: Together at Home” COVID-19 fundraiser.
- The event will feature performances from Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Elton John, Idris and Sabrina Elba, John Legend, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Stevie Wonder, and many more.
Donald Trump Threatens to Withhold WHO Funding Amid Pandemic
Whether it’s a hollow threat or reckless behavior, the President of the United States today threatened to withhold WHO funding. We’re just at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease, according to WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is ten times more fatal than H1N1 and spreads more easily.
Trump accuses the WHO of not warning the world about COVID-19. According to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO delivered two guidance documents, posted on the web, on January 10. The materials mentioned that the virus was transmissible through respiratory droplets. They were available to anyone in the world, including the Trump administration.
By mid-January 2020, the WHO made it clear that COVID-19 was a formidable threat. The organization published guidance on surveillance testing and containment.
While it’s true that the WHO was critical of Trump’s travel bans, they always advocated for testing, contact tracing, and isolation. The correct course of action was to develop widespread testing when the virus’s genetic sequence was available on January 13, 2020. Since the Trump administration completely dropped the ball, shutting down the U.S. and closing borders became a necessity.
One faction of the media criticizes the Trump administration for doing too little, too late. The administration should have developed tests in mid-January and launched an extensive surveillance testing plan shortly thereafter. In a weak attempt to shift blame, Trump today accused the WHO of not alerting the world about the upcoming pandemic. It only turned into a pandemic because China and the U.S. didn’t take the disease seriously.
Apple and Others Raise Funds for WHO
If you’re expecting solid public policy from the Trump administration, don’t hold your breath. Treading water, his presidency is more about sociopathy than leadership. Like a drowning man, he grasps onto others, pulling them down with him.
Fortunately, most people in the world are not sociopaths. It’s possible to care about profits and people. Apple, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and a host of stars will come together to raise money for the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The star-studded event will take place on April 18, 2020, at 5 p.m. Pacific. Apple will stream the event live on Apple TV+. Tim Cook will donate $10 million to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund during the event.
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