EU urges U.S. to reconsider WHO split
Updated 21:43, 30-May-2020

The European Union (EU) on Saturday called on the United States to "reconsider" the decision to sever ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump said Friday he was severing U.S. ties with the WHO, accusing it of failing to do enough to combat the initial spread of the virus. The United States was the largest contributor to the WHO budget, providing at least 400 million U.S. dollars in annual funding.

"The WHO needs to continue being able to lead the international response to pandemics, current and future," Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said in a joint statement.

"For this, the participation and support of all is required and very much needed."

The statement noted that the EU had already provided additional funding for the UN agency.

"As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the main task for everyone is to save lives and contain and mitigate this pandemic," it said. "Now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions. Actions that weaken international results must be avoided. We urge the U.S. to reconsider its announced decision." 

Trump suspended funding to the WHO last month, accusing it of being too lenient with China, where the virus emerged late last year. He said Friday the U.S. would be redirecting WHO funds "to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."

Read more: Another withdrawal: How did the Trump administration and the WHO got to this point?

Source(s): AFP