"[C]utting the WHO's funding during the COVID-19 pandemic is not in US interest given the organisation's critical role assisting other countries - particularly in the developing world - in their response," US Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant said in the release.
He went on to say that the Chamber supports a reformed but functional WHO, and US leadership and involvement are essential to securing its transparency and accountability going forward.
In turn, the WHO representative in Russia said Wednesday that the World Health Organisation's top governing body will consider options for filling the gap in its coronavirus response budget after the United States said it would halt funding.
"We saw today that some EU leaders had come up with an investment initiative to support COVID-19 response. The World Health Assembly will, of course, look into it", Melita Vujnovic told the Rossiya-24 television channel.
US to Keep Working With WHO Despite Funding Cutoff
Meanwhile, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects to continue cooperating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to mitigate the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, despite President Donald Trump’s decision to cut off funding for the UN agency, CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview on Wednesday.
"WHO has been a long-term and still is a great partner for us," Redfield told CBS. "For me and for CDC and the public health arena, we’re continuing to work side by side with WHO to do the best that we can to limit the spread of disease and to protect the American people."
However, Redfield declined to answer a reporter’s question on the potential impact of Trump’s decision in the middle of a global pandemic, saying: "Those decisions that are going to be made above related to some of the geopolitical issues I have to leave to those that really have that expertise."
On Tuesday, Trump ordered the move against the WHO, charging that the UN agency accepted China’s claims in January that the virus was not contagious and delayed declaring an emergency until the end of the month.
Critics have charged China with allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to get out of control by hiding the outbreak and under-reporting data on those infected.
Trump announced a suspension period of 60 to 90 days pending completion of an investigation of WHO and Chinese actions during the early days of the pandemic.