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.”
Schuldzuweisungen helfen nicht. Das Virus kennt keine Grenzen. Wir müssen gegen #COVID19 eng zusammenarbeiten. Eine der besten Investitionen ist es, die @UN, allen voran die unterfinanzierte @WHO, zu stärken, z.B. bei der Entwicklung und Verteilung von Tests und Impfstoffen. https://t.co/ugVbnZFx7R
— Heiko Maas ?? (@HeikoMaas) April 15, 2020
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert, meanwhile, said that the WHO was doing
“unbelievably important work”.
“The government is convinced of the need to support and sufficiently finance the WHO,” he added.
The United States is the biggest contributor to the WHO, making payments of
$400 million last year. Germany is the fourth largest contributor behind China and Japan, according to Statista.
The #WHO has lost its biggest financial contributor as @realDonaldTrump has suspended funding after saying the org failed in its handling of the #COVID19 pandemic. https://t.co/hZKefllATG pic.twitter.com/Kyv5pCdnA6
— Statista (@StatistaCharts) April 15, 2020
Trump accused the Geneva-based body of putting “political correctness above
The move sparked criticism across the world, and Berlin joined the chorus
on Wednesday, with Seibert saying that the pandemic was cause to “uphold our
fundamental belief in the benefits of multilateralism”.
Foreign Minister Maas, meanwhile, stressed the need for countries to “work
together closely against COVID-19″.
Maas has previously taken aim at the Trump administration's reaction to the
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.