Bill Gates said President Donald Trump's decision, announced Tuesday with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, was "as dangerous as it sounds."
- Bill Gates has criticized President Donald Trump's Tuesday-night decision to cut US funding for the World Health Organization.
- Trump said he would stop the $400 million to $500 million of US funding for the body, pending an investigation into what he saw as its aiding China in "covering up" the novel coronavirus.
- The Microsoft cofounder said that during the coronavirus pandemic, "the world needs WHO now more than ever."
- The coronavirus pandemic is close to reaching 2 million confirmed cases worldwide. More than 600,000 people in the US have been reported infected, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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Bill Gates has criticized President Donald Trump's decision to cut US funding for the World Health Organization, arguing that the timing is dangerous.
"Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds," the Microsoft cofounder tweeted.
"Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever."
—Bill Gates (@BillGates) April 15, 2020
Though the tweet did not name Trump, it came hours after the US president announced plans to halt the US's $400 million to $500 million contribution.
Trump on Tuesday told reporters he was suspending the funding for weeks, pending a review of the group's role in what he phrased as "severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus."
He accused the organization of allowing China to cover up the true extent of the coronavirus, which has now infected more than 600,000 Americans and killed at least 26,000. There are close to 2 million confirmed infections of the virus worldwide.
US Democratic lawmakers have also criticized the move, while WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said now was not the time to "politicize" the pandemic.
Gates, who has long warned against a pandemic, has pledged $100 million toward fighting the coronavirus outbreak via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.