President Trump announced on April 14 that he would be "halting" US funding of the World Health Organization.

US President Donald Trump’s announcement to "halt" funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) has been slammed as “indefensible” by Ireland’s Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney.

Coveney said in a tweet on April 15: “This is indefensible decision, in midst of global pandemic. So many vulnerable populations rely on ⁦@WHO⁩ - deliberately undermining funding & trust now is shocking. Now is a time for global leadership & unity to save lives, not division and blame!” 

This is indefensible decision, in midst of global pandemic. So many vulnerable populations rely on ⁦@WHO⁩ - deliberately undermining funding & trust now is shocking. Now is a time for global leadership & unity to save lives, not division and blame! https://t.co/nOknZnBqDd

— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) April 15, 2020

Read More: "Proud to be an Irishman": WHO boss praises Ireland's coronavirus response

President Trump announced the "halt" of funding to the WHO during a press briefing at The White House on April 14: “Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus. Everybody knows what’s going on there.

“American taxpayers provide between 400 million and 500 million dollars per year to the WHO. In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million per year and even less. 

“As the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability. One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations. They were very much opposed to what we did. 

“Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel form China, saving untold numbers of lives, thousands and thousands of people would have died.”

According to The New York Times, the US contributed about $553 million of the WHO's $6 billion budget in 2019.

You can watch the entire press briefing from April 14 here:

Read More: Irish government pledges €500k to WHO in fight against coronavirus

In response to the President's announcement, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said during a press briefing on April 15: “The United States of America has been a longstanding and generous friend to WHO, and we hope it will continue to be so.

“We regret the decision of the President of the United States to order a halt in funding to the World Health Organization.

“With support from the people and government of the United States, WHO works to improve the health of many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

Media briefing on #COVID19 with @DrTedros. #coronavirus https://t.co/gnY5tw6pVX

— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 15, 2020

As of April 15, there are more than 2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus globally. The United States reports the highest number of confirmed cases with more than 610,000.

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