Germany slams Trump's WHO payment freeze

By: AFP      Published: 02:44 PM, 15 Apr, 2020
Germany slams Trump's WHO payment freeze

Germany slammed Wednesday the US decision to suspend payments to the World Health Organization (WHO), as Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned against "blaming others" for the coronavirus crisis. 

US President Donald Trump announced the funding freeze on Tuesday, accusing the WHO of "severely mismanaging" the spread of the virus.

"Blaming others won't help. The virus knows no borders," Maas wrote on Twitter.

"One of the best investments is to strengthen the UN, above all the under-financed WHO... in the development and distribution of tests and vaccines."

The United States is the biggest contributor to the WHO, making payments of $400 million last year. 

Trump accused the Geneva-based body of putting "political correctness above life-saving measures".

The move sparked criticism across the world, and Maas joined the chorus on Wednesday, stressing the need for countries to "work together closely against COVID-19".

Maas has previously taken aim at the Trump administration's reaction to the virus crisis.

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine last week, he said the United States had "played down the virus for a very long time".

"There really isn't any dispute, even in the USA, that many of the measures were taken too late," he told Spiegel.