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The WHO passes the mic to China at summit

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/18/20, 12:08 pm

Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged $2 billion on Monday to back the World Health Organization’s coronavirus pandemic response. The agency is hosting its 73rd World Health Assembly virtually this year. The two-day summit focuses primarily on the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Xi said the money would support mostly developing countries in their pandemic fight over the next two years. He also insisted his country provided all relevant information on the coronavirus to the WHO “in a most timely fashion.”

What’s the deal with China and the WHO? The United States has criticized the global health body for allowing China to cover up the pandemic early on. In April, President Donald Trump decided to withdraw U.S. financial support of the WHO because of its pandering to China. On Monday, the European Union and several other countries called for an independent evaluation of the agency’s early response to COVID-19 “at the earliest appropriate moment.”

Dig deeper: Read June Cheng’s report on China’s growing influence on the WHO.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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