President Donald Trump is reportedly reconsidering the suspension of US funding of the World Health Organisation and could restore its annual contribution partially, but only to match China’s $40 million, a tenth of its share of $400 million.
Fox News reported Friday the president has either already signed off on the decision or is about to. “Despite (its) shortcomings, I believe that the WHO still has tremendous potential, and want to see the WHO live up to this potential, particularly now during this global crisis,” he is expected to say, according to a Fox anchor, who said he was quoting from a five-page draft the president is expected to sign.
The president suspended funding for the global health agency last month as the United States investigated its response to the coronavirus outbreak. The US has accused the world body of botching the initial response and, then, of siding with China to help it conceal the exact extent of the virus outbreak. Subsequently, WHO officials had denied the claims by President and China has insisted it was transparent and open.
At home in the US, the president has continued to encourage the reopening of the country, at odds with his own public health officials. He has publicly dismissed, for instance, calls for caution by Anthony Fauci, the top epidemiologist and member of the White House task force.
On Friday, the chief government body for disease control and prevention has projected the death toll of Americans succumbing to Covid-19 could climb to 100,000 in two weeks, up by 13,000 from the toll on Friday.
The projection of fatalities by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based on 12 models, its director Robert Redfield, who is also member of the task force, wrote on twitter Friday. And it came as grim reminder of the need for continued surveillance and mitigation as that public health officials are urging as at least 48 states of the US are set to reopen to varying extent by early next week.
“CDC tracks 12 different forecasting models of possible #COVID19 deaths in the US. As of May 11, all forecast an increase in deaths in the coming weeks and a cumulative total exceeding 100,000 by June 1,” he wrote.
Covid-19 fatalities rose by 1,632 over the past 24 hours to 87,568 and the number of infections increased by 25,050 to 1.44 million. With nearly 13,000 more fatalities projected by the CDC the situation will get grimmer, specially with the removal of restrictions that it is feared to could take the toll to 147,000 by August.