The European Union on Saturday urged President Donald Trump to rethink his decision to terminate the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization as spiking infection rates in India and elsewhere reinforced that the pandemic is far from contained.
The U.S. is the largest source of financial support for the WHO, and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organization. Trump said the U.S. would be “redirecting” the money to “other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” without providing specifics.
The head of the EU's executive arm urged Trump to reconsider. “The WHO needs to continue being able to lead the international response to pandemics, current and future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “For this, the participation and support of all is required and very much needed.”
The WHO wouldn't comment on the announcement but South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize called it an “unfortunate” turn of events.
“Certainly, when faced with a serious pandemic, you want all nations in the world to be particularly focused … on one common enemy,” he told reporters.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Trump's decision the “wrong signal at the wrong time.” He said Berlin would have “intensive discussions” with Washington to try to convince the U.S. government to reconsider.
“The number of people infected worldwide is increasing and the crisis is spreading,” Maas told Germanys Funke media group. “We cant tear down the dike in the middle of the flood and build a new one.”
In China, where the virus outbreak began, only four new confirmed cases were reported Saturday, all brought from outside the country, and no new deaths. Just 63 people remained in treatment.
After judging the situation there now safe, a chartered flight carrying 200 German managers back to their jobs landed in Tianjin, a port city east of Beijing. A flight carrying another 200 was due in Shanghai on Thursday.
“I'm really happy that business is starting again,” said Karin Wasowski, a Volkswagen employee, before boarding the flight in Frankfurt. “I've been working from a home office but that is, of course, something completely different to being there.”
More than 5,200 German companies operate in China, employing more than 1 million people.
“This is an important step to reconnect Chinas and Germanys economies,” said Jens Hildebrandt, executive director of the German Chamber of Commerce in North China, which helped organize the flights. “It is our common interest to contribute in helping the economy return to normalcy and pre-virus levels.”
Close to 6 million coronavirus infections have been reported worldwide, with more than 365,000 deaths and almost 2.5 million recoveries, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. The true dimensions are widely believed to be significantly greater, with experts saying many victims died without being tested.
As some countries have lowered the rate of infections, they have moved ahead with relaxing restrictions while keeping a close eye on developments.
In South Korea, credited with one of the most successful programs to fight the pandemic, 39 new cases were reported Saturday, most in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have linked the infections to warehouse workers. Authorities have maintained the phased reopening of schools in the hope that the recent transmissions could be contained quickly.
Elite sporting events will be allowed to resume in England starting Monday, but without spectators. It paves the way for the planned June 17 return of the Premier League, the worlds richest soccer competition.
Englands deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam warned that despite the easing, the situation overall remained precarious. “I believe this is also a very dangerous moment, he said. “We have to get this right.”
India registered another record single-day jump of 7,964 cases and 265 deaths. That pRead More – Source