Trump Administration Sitting On More Than 75% Of Humanitarian Aid Allocated By Congress
Relief workers say they were alarmed and bewildered as to why the vast majority of the aid money has not been distributed. Officials in charge of the funds say they want to ensure it goes to the right places, but relief organizations say the money is being released “demonstrably slower” than in past global health crises. Meanwhile, Bill Gates expresses his disappointment with President Donald Trump's decision to cut ties with WHO.
The New York Times:
Despite Big Promises, U.S. Has Delivered Limited Aid In Global Virus Response
The Trump administration has lauded itself as leading the world in confronting the coronavirus. But it has so far failed to spend more than 75 percent of the American humanitarian aid that Congress provided three months ago to help overseas victims of the virus. In two spending bills in March, lawmakers approved $1.59 billion in pandemic assistance to be sent abroad through the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development. As of last week, $386 million had been released to nations in need, according to a government official familiar with the spending totals that the State Department has reported to Congress for both agencies. (Jakes, 6/7)
Bill Gates Hopes Trump's WHO Decision Can Be Walked Back
Philanthropist Bill Gates expressed disappointment with President Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the World Health Organization, saying that the agency was critical to the global effort to eliminate polio — and to respond to future epidemics. “WHO is important for all the global health work that we do,” Gates told reporters in a teleconference this week. “Everyone should make sure that if we need to improve the WHO, that’s what we do, but that we stay together.” (Branswell, 6/4)