President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he is directing his administration to halt U.S. funding of the World Health Organization, as he accused the WHO of mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus and promised a review of the matter.
“So much death has been caused by their mistakes,” Trump said at a daily White House briefing on the pandemic, adding that his administration will continue to engage with the WHO.
Trump, who had threatened to freeze U.S. funding to the international organization earlier this month, said the U.S. provides between about $400 million to $500 million each year to the organization.
At the briefing, the president also continued a recent back-and-forth with state governors, saying his administration soon will be sharing details on plans to reopen the country and he will speak shortly with all 50 governors. He said there could be reopening for some states before May 1, suggesting that more than 20 are faring well. Trump claimed the authority Monday to decide how and when to reopen the economy, but governors from both parties were quick to note they have the primary constitutional responsibility.
In addition, Trump highlighted a ventilator loan program and the news that U.S. airlines have reached an agreement in principle with the federal government on financial assistance.
U.S. stocks DJIA, +2.39% SPX, +3.05% have been plunging in the past two months on coronavirus-related worries, but the S&P 500 had erased most of its losses as of Tuesday’s close, thanks in part to encouraging signs in some regions and hopes surrounding Washington’s aid programs.
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