Donald Trump has carried out his threat to end US funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), depriving the body of $ 500 million (£ 399 million) a year at the height of the global pandemic of coronavirus, accusing the body of “covering” the early outbreak without providing any evidence of its claim.
He said on Tuesday that the United States was a “developing country” and complained of the organization’s “unfair” treatment after accusing its officials of “knowing exactly what was going on” as the epidemic was growing. His remarks this week follow several reports illustrating his failure to heed several warnings for several weeks to prepare for the virus, which analysts say has claimed thousands of lives.
The president’s decision to suspend funding for WHO has drawn criticism, with the UN, the EU and the American Medical Association all expressing outrage and a professor describing the bet as “one of the least productive, the most short-sighted, the most motivated and the most hypocritical. I have never been a witness. “
Download the new Independent Premium app
Share the whole story, not just the headlines
In response, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “the time has come for us to be united against a common struggle, a common enemy.”
“When we are divided, the virus exploits the cracks between us,” he said.
The President, eager and eager to “reopen” the economy, will announce plans for some states to abandon their quarantine efforts as the death toll in the United States of Covid-19 reaches nearly 28,000, after the rise of a single day on Tuesday. 2,082, setting a new sinister record, with the United States reporting more than three times as many virus cases as the rest.
Vice President Mike Pence said the new guidelines will offer some states “greater flexibility” as the United States seeks to relax its quarantine efforts to resume operations as usual.
Meanwhile, the president has made an unprecedented threat to adjourn the Senate and the United States Congress, blaming the Democrats as he is frustrated to await approval of his administrative appointments.
Follow live coverage as it happened
Please allow a moment for our live blog to load
Hello and welcome to The independent ’s continued coverage of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States and response from the Donald Trump administration.
“The reality is that WHO has failed to obtain, review and share information in a timely manner,” said the President. “WHO has failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable. Trump himself has of course received numerous criticisms for the slowness of the federal response to the crisis, which he initially dismissed as a “hoax,” and then spent several weeks claiming that he was “under control.” without taking decisive action, and is therefore naturally hungry for a scapegoat.
The move has already drawn much criticism, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saying “Now is the time for unity” and Dr. Patrice Harris, President of the American Medical Association, calling it ” a dangerous step in the wrong direction that will not make Covid-19 easier to defeat. “
On Capitol Hill, the response was much stronger.
“With each passing day of this worsening crisis, the President shows us his political game book: blame the WHO, blame China, blame his political opponents, blame his predecessors -” do whatever it takes to divert from the fact that his administration has mismanaged this crisis and it is now costing thousands of American lives, “said Eliot Engel, Democratic Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Supply Committee, said the move “made as much sense as cutting ammunition to an ally when the enemy got closer.”
“The White House knows that it has grossly mismanaged this crisis from the start, ignoring multiple warnings and wasting precious time, rejecting medical science, comparing Covid-19 to the common cold and saying” everything will be fine “”, a- he added. “Unwilling to take responsibility when the dead continue to climb, he blames others. “
Senator Chris Murphy said the call was an “attempt at primary school caliber to divert the attention of his friends from China and his continued neglect since. “
Senator Tina Smith and representatives Karen Bass and Jesus Garcia said it represented an “abdication of international responsibility and leadership,” while House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff tweeted, clearly discouraged and disgusted:
In contrast to Trump, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardhern showed how it should be done when she replied, “At a time like this, when we need to share information and we need advice that we can count on, the WHO has provided. We will continue to support it and continue to contribute. ”
Here is the report by John T. Bennett.
Death toll in US sees new record increase in one day
The new cumulative “Confirmed and Probable Deaths of Covid-19” released by the New York Department of Health marked a staggering increase of more than 3,700 deaths officially attributed to the highly contagious disease since March 11.
The peak of 60% of reported deaths underscored the huge losses suffered in the most populous city in the country, where the sounds of howling sirens resounded almost continuously on largely empty streets for weeks.
“Behind every death, there is a friend, a family member, a loved one,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, health commissioner. “We are working to ensure that every New Yorker who died because of Covid-19 is counted. “
Oliver O’Connell has this report.
In addition to announcing this absolutely absurd decision, Trump’s latest press briefing at the Rose Garden White House saw him “joke” about considering himself a king (#KingTrump is in vogue on Twitter at the time of writing this article), but he returns to his boast of having “absolute” authority over when states can and should end their lockdowns and reopen.
A strange passage from the address in which he denounced the names of the large American companies suffering from the closure also provoked grunts of disbelief.
John T Bennett was watching.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has ordered that the president’s name be printed on the $ 1,200 (£ 958) checks that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sends to about 70 million American households, a move that will slow their delivery. several days, depending The Washington Post.
The post office said the decision to include Trump’s name was announced to IRS IT staff on Tuesday.
“The team, working from home, are now fighting to implement a programming change which, according to two senior officials, will likely cause the first batch of paper checks to be delayed,” said Treasury.
Here is Peter Stubley’s report.
Largest US Airlines Temporarily Accepted $ 25 billion (£ 19.9 Billion) in Government Aid Terms to Pay Workers and Avoid Mass Layoffs in an Industry Criticized by the Coronavirus Pandemic .
The aid will include a mix of cash and loans, with the government obtaining warrants which can be converted into small holdings in major airlines.
Airlines entered a ten-year streak in 2020 where they earned tens of billions of dollars together due to strong travel demand. They bought new planes, enriched the shareholders and hired thousands of additional workers.
The streak ended in just a few weeks, with governments limiting travel to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, and people feared it could get the disease from an airplane. Air transportation has stopped almost completely. Airlines have cut thousands of flights, and those that remain often carry only a few passengers.
With wage subsidies, airlines and their workers received special treatment last month’s $ 2.3 billion (£ 1.8 billion) measure designed to help businesses and workers get through the pandemic, which has hit all sectors of the economy.
President Trump – aware of criticism that the government is bailing out a previously profitable industry – said the deals will support airline workers and protect taxpayers.
Additional reports by PA
Trump’s decision to cut funding for the WHO is not going well, it has to be said.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Fontelles wrote on Twitter this morning:
Here are a few more expert opinions:
“The strength of WHO is that it is able to bring together public health experts from around the world to exchange information, review scientific evidence and formulate consensus-based, evidence-based recommendations on prevention and control.” diseases. WHO continued to operate in this way during the Covid-19 pandemic by providing real-time advice when it receives, examines and analyzes scientific evidence in peer-reviewed publications and virtually working together, despite the geopolitical tensions that exist in the world. I have no doubt that WHO will continue to work in this way during the Covid-19 pandemic as a reliable and reliable source of information and advice for countries around the world. “
– David Heymann, Professor of epidemiology of infectious diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
– Dr. Michael Head, Senior Researcher in Global Health, University of Southampton
“This most recent intervention by President Trump in public health policy is perhaps one of the least productive, most shortsighted, most motivated and most hypocritical acts I have ever seen. As far as I know, it has no basis in reality. I suspect that this decision has the support of 0% of the American scientific and medical communities and, I hope, of a small minority of the population as a whole. The situation in the United States and around the world is tantamount to a crisis, in which we must unite. WHO is perhaps one of the best means of achieving this and deserves the support and respect of all countries. “
– Dr. Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of Leeds
That’s what the experts think. Now let’s move on to one of Trump’s most toad cheerleaders on this side of the pond to see if he dares to contradict them. Oh look, he does.
Greg Evans has this for Indy100 on the advice of famed health expert “Dr.” Nigel Farage, last seen from his couch on Facebook in a pair of grotesquely small shorts.
Here is the latest overwhelming assessment of our cartoonist Dave Brown’s Trump…
…and for Indy Premium, Matthew Norman applauds the Washington press for refusing to leave the president’s erratic decisions and creaky tale irresistible.
Republican congressman says coronavirus death is the lesser of two evils compared to economic turmoil
Hollingsworth, who has represented the ninth district of State Congress since 2017, was asked by WIBC radio host Tony Katz if the federal government’s response to the pandemic was the right one – in particular, its instruction to Americans that staying at home is necessary to stop the virus in its tracks.
This is the story of Andrew Naughtie.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi yesterday wrote an absolutely scorching letter to her fellow Democrats about Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing him of causing “unnecessary death and economic disaster” by ignoring multiple warnings given to him.
“We will overcome this moment, but success requires a fundamental element from which all actions will follow: we need the truth,” she wrote.
“The truth is that from this point on, Americans must ignore the lies and start listening to respected scientists and other professionals in order to protect us and our loved ones. “
“The truth is that a weak person, a poor leader, takes no responsibility,” she added. “A weak person blames others. “
She then delivered a version of the same message to the public via a thread on Twitter:
“Obama approved Biden – but we don’t need another presidency like his”
For Indy Voices, Danielle Campoamor says that the time has not come to repeat the centrist values that he defended in power.
Trump’s fundraisers try to capitalize on anti-Chinese sentiment to secure campaign donations
Trump re-election fundraising committee uses new attacks on Chinese government management of coronavirus pandemic to mobilize donors, urging supporters in email Tuesday to “hold China accountable” countryside.
In a declaration of interest filed Tuesday, the federal department sided with church leaders and suggested that the city’s actions were effectively targeting forms of religious conduct during the coronavirus pandemic.
US Attorney General William Barr said in a statement that his justice department would work to uphold the constitutional right to freely practice religion as states and cities seek to contain the spread of the coronavirus by limiting the services of worship.
Here is Chris Riotta’s report.
The Massachusetts senator, who ended her own campaign for the presidency in early March, becomes the latest party elder to support the pending Democratic candidate after Bernie Sanders’ decision to withdraw from the race.
A Maryland district court has blocked the Trump administration’s proposals to lower US school food standards, as you would expect.
“Let them eat burgers,” you can just hear him say.
Here is the report by Gino Spocchia.
One of the most popular Democrats in the Democratic Party has said that the allegations of sexual assault against the candidate for president of his party deserve serious consideration.
Speaking in an online forum hosted by The Wing, a global community for the “professional, civic, social and economic advancement of women”, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was interviewed allegations made against Biden by former staff member Tara Reade.
As CBS reported, one of the people interviewed on the platform said she was disappointed that the Democratic candidate who would stand up against Trump ended up being Biden, who she said “has a very long history of flesh hen for women ”.
Ocasio-Cortez replied: “What you are expressing is so legitimate and real. This is why I find this kind of silence of all dissent to be a form of gas lighting. “
“I think it is legitimate to talk about these things. And if we want, if we want to have integrity again, you can’t say, you know – the two believe women, support it all, until it bothers you, until it hurts us uncomfortable. “
Andrew Naughtie has more.
“Stopping funding to the World Health Organization during a global health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work slows the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped, no other organization can replace them. The world needs WHO more than ever, “the billionaire wrote on Twitter.
Gino Spocchia has more on this.
Neil Cavuto – one of the few Fox anchors, along with Chris Wallace, who is not afraid of having a crack against the champion – did it again on his show last night after the president was rages on Twitter over the insurgency among state governors.
Cavuto said that Trump’s words were “surprising, because it was he who left it to the governors to decide if they wanted to practice social distancing and the provisions for home housing.”
“He never criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as one of the last participants in this policy,” said the reporter. “So states say they ultimately want to decide – as the Constitution provides – whether or not it is safe to reopen, then all of a sudden it’s a bad Mutiny on the Bounty… That I don’t understand. The Constitution allows them to do so. “
“That doesn’t mean the president doesn’t have a powerful bullying chair, he does,” said Cavuto. “But it is not the law of the land, it is not in our Constitution. And that invites some sort of confusion on the part of the people who want to know, you’ve given us – in the States – the power to do a lot of things that you said we should decide at our level, and now you’ve come up with a decision that is contrary to that. Are we the ones who ignore politics and the Constitution? It’s crazy. “
Cavuto was not the only one.
His colleague Brett Bair said (rightly) yesterday that “the heads of the Tories would have exploded” if President Obama had ever claimed full authority, as Trump did on Monday.
Here’s James Crump with the details.
White House lawyer Kellyanne Conway made this brilliant statement about Fox and friends this morning apparently not understanding that the disease is labeled because it was first identified in 2019, and not because there have been 18 previous strains of it that the Organization’s stupid World Health Organization failed to crush.
Not a career highlight of a person who is already very ashamed.
Oh man. Not only are American taxpayers receiving their checks late because of Trump’s vanity, but they are also being scammed.
Chris Riotta has macabre details.