President Trump is “dangerous,” according to Bill Gates, who has been openly critical of the president’s decision to temporarily halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Trump decied to withhold $500 million in U.S. taxpayer money to WHO after a series of missteps made by the organization.
Reports confirm that Gates slammed Trump’s decision, saying it’s “as dangerous as it sounds.”
In an effort to combat Trump’s decision to withhold funding, Gates pledged $150 million towards WHO to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
More details on Gates’ statement and his foundation’s contribution below:
WHO has been under fire for allegedly helping China cover-up the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Early on, WHO blindly shared information from China that turned out to be untrue, including the Chinese government's initial claim that human-to0human transmission was impossible.
Regardless of the WHO's many missteps, Gates claims that stopping funging for WHO "doesn't make any sense."
ABC News hs more details on Gates' controversial statements:
In an exclusive interview, Bill Gates told ABC News anchor David Muir that he did not agree with President Trump's move to halt U.S. funding to the World Health Organization.
"I'm hopeful that he doesn't follow through on that because we need their support. This is a global problem. They are the institution that, you know, brings nations together and make sure that, you know, that were sharing best practices between all of those countries," said Gates, who spoke to Muir along with wife Melinda Gates on Wednesday.
"There'll be plenty of time to look back and see which countries did things well, which didn’t, where should WHO have done things differently, but we're very supportive of the role WHO plays," Gates said. "You know, they're the ones who helped eradicate smallpox. They, you know, see what's going on globally. And so I hope that doesn't actually happen."
On Tuesday, Trump said he was halting funding to the World Health Organization and accused the United Nations agency of "severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the novel coronavirus" by "parrot(ing)" Chinese government data and not "call(ing) out China's lack of transparency."
His decision has been criticized by lawmakers who challenge its legality, public health experts who say it undermines the global fight against COVID-19, critics who argue Trump is searching for a scapegoat after he was slow to act and similarly praised China's initial response, and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a conservative business lobby, which said the timing is wrong.
Bill Gates said that he and Melinda Gates had tweeted their support for the WHO.
In the same interview, Gates revealed that his foundation has supported WHO for over 20 years.
The United States is responsible for approximately 15 percent of the entire organization's budget. The U.S. provides more funding any any other country.
Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, have already pledged to challenge Trump on the issue.
Many critics have accused WHO of favoring China over the United States during the pandemic.
President Trump accused the organization of prioritizing political correctness over lives and for "mismanaging" the pandemic.
WHO even criticized the president's travel bans to slow the spread of the virus, though the organization quietly reversed course on the policy.
Politico reports that Gates' foundation has increased its pledge to $250 million:
The foundation previously pledged $100 million in February. The $250 million overall commitment is intended “to support development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines; help strengthen African and South Asian health systems; and help mitigate the social and economic impacts of the virus,” a news release from the foundation said.
The escalation in Gates’ charitable giving also follows his high-profile scolding of the Trump administration for ordering a 60-day freeze on funding of the World Health Organization, a move that was met with alarm by the medical community and condemnation from international leaders.
“Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds,” Gates wrote on Twitter early Wednesday morning. “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.”
Gates’ message was shared widely on social media as outrage over Trump’s announcement intensified, prompting Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to single out the tech titan and his foundation in a statement of support for the White House’s directive.
Many observers have been critical of Bill Gates himself during the pandemic.
The New York Post reports that Roger Stones claims Gates may have created the coronavirus to microchip people.
Salon reports that conservative commentators Diamon and Silk worry that Gates' work on a vaccine is part of a plot to "rule the world."
While some people might call those conspiracy theories, one thing is certain: Gates' move to fund the WHO undermines the president's authority to be a good steward of American taxpayer money.
Gates certainly has a right to spend his money and the foundation's money as he would like, but funding an organization that appears to have China's best interest in mind seems counterproductive, many argue.