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'The world needs the WHO now more than ever' - Bill Gates weighs in on Donald Trump halting funding

15 April 2020 - 15:09 By Unathi Nkanjeni

Billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates has weighed in on US President Donald Trump's decision to temporarily suspend US funding for the World Health Organisation.

On Tuesday, Trump instructed his administration to at least temporarily halt funding of the WHO because of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a White House news conference, Trump said the organisation had “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable”.

Trump also blamed the organisation for promoting China's “disinformation” about the virus in the days after the initial outbreak last year in Wuhan.

“I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organisation's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” said Trump.

Taking to Twitter, the Microsoft founder said the halting of funds during the coronavirus pandemic was “as dangerous as it sounds”.

Though the tweet did not name Trump, Gates said the world needed the WHO now more than ever.

“Their work is slowing the spread of Covid-19 and if that work is stopped no other organisation can replace them,” he added.

Gates has warned of an impending pandemic for years.

In a recent interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Gates shared steps that must be taken to beat Covid-19 and prevent a future outbreak.

Some of the steps included prioritising testing and finding a vaccine.

Gates also pledged $100m towards fighting the outbreak via the Bill and Melinda Gates charitable foundation.