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UK scientists criticise Trump pulling WHO funding

Donald Trump’s decision halt to US payments to the World Health Organisation has been criticised by UK-based scientists.

Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor at Leeds University’s School of Medicine said: “This most recent intervention in public health policy by President Trump is perhaps one of the least productive, most short-sighted, self-motivated and hypocritical acts I have ever witnessed. As far as I can ascertain, it has no foundation in reality.

“I suspect this move has the support of precisely 0% of the US scientific and healthcare communities, and, I would hope, only a small minority of the population as a whole.”

Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said: “Politically volatile leadership is rarely constructive or helpful at times of crisis.”

And praising WHO, David Heymann, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “The strength of WHO is that it is able to bring together public health experts from around the world to exchange information, review scientific evidence, and make evidence based consensus recommendations on disease prevention and control.

“WHO has continued to function in this manner during the Covid-19 pandemic providing real-time guidance as it receives, reviews and analyses scientific evidence in peer reviewed publications and from experts working together virtually, despite the geopolitical tensions that exist in the world.”

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