COVID-19 Informer: Trump threatens WHO exit over 'missteps'

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The World Health Organisation overnight confirmed the need for a future coronavirus vaccine to be made available cheaply to the world "as a global priority".

And US President Donald Trump let loose.

WHO member countries adopted a resolution that "calls for the universal, timely and equitable access to and fair distribution" of medical products to fight COVID-19.

Members also called on the pharmaceutical industry and others involved in the quest to share and pool their patents.

Just hours before that meeting, Mr Trump made public a letter to WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, setting out "repeated missteps" by the organisation.

The US President threatened to pull funding from the WHO, and to consider a US exit from the UN health agency if it does not commit to "major substantive improvements" within 30 days.

Already medical journal The Lancet has rejected Mr Trump's assertion that the WHO had ignored its reports from late 2019.

"This statement is factually incorrect," the Lancet said in a message, noting that its first reports were published on January 24.

Back in the US, the Congressional Budget Office released new projections on Tuesday, showing second quarter projections of an 11 per cent contraction of gross domestic product in the US and a jobless rate of 15 per cent.

The travel, hospitality and retail industries are expected to bear the brunt of the losses. The recovery is expected to be gradual; the budget office expects the unemployment rate to be 8.6 percent by the end of next year.

Meanwhile in England, there were six positive tests for coronavirus across three Premier League clubs as the top flight prepares to resume in June.

Players and staff from 19 clubs, totalling 748 people, were tested. Norwich is still awaiting its results, the BBC says.

The league, suspended on March 13, had chalked in June 12 as a restart date but there is now an expectation this will need to be pushed back.

And no, this is not coronavirus-related but ... India and Bangladesh are evacuating millions of people from coastal areas ahead of a super cyclone which is approaching from the Bay of Bengal.

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This story Trump threatens WHO exit over 'missteps' first appeared on The Canberra Times.