Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Trump threatens to withhold U.S. funding for WHO

President Donald Trump’s press conference during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT in 2018. Photo by @gintsivuskans_photo via Twenty20

President Donald Trump said today that he is considering withholding U.S. funding for the World Health Organization because of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling the institution “China-centric.”

“We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO,” Trump said during a White House press briefing. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see.”

But minutes later, Trump reversed and said he “was looking into it.” He said, “I’m not saying I’m going to do it, but we are going to look at it.”

Trump appeared particularly upset with WHO’s opposition with his decision to restrict travel from China because of the  coronavirus back in Jan. 31, saying “they were wrong.” The group issued a statement saying countries should keep their borders open despite the outbreak. 

The WHO acknowledged, however, that travel restrictions “may have a public health rationale at the beginning of the containment phase of an outbreak,” allowing affected countries to implement response measures and non-affected countries the time to implement preparedness measures. 

Globally, more than 1.4 million cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel virus, have been confirmed and deaths topped 81,000 as of Tuesday evening, according to John Hopkins University. The U.S. has reported more than 387,000 cases and over 12,000 deaths.

Trump acknowledged that Covid-19 disproportionately impacts African Americans.

 “It is showing up very strong in our data in the African American community and we are doing everything in our power to address this challenge,” he said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, described the issue as an “exacerbation of a health disparity,” noting that conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma afflict minority populations.

“I will protect you if your governor fails. If you have a governor that is failing, we’re going to protect you,” said Trump during the press briefing. “But the governors are working well with us over the last period of time.”

Some governors, however, have said the Trump administration has failed to coordinate a national response to the crisis and that shortages of tests, ventilators and protective equipment have persisted. 

Trump said the government will receive 110,000 ventilators by the end of June, and that the U.S. will send 200 to the United Kingdom. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said his state alone needs 40,000 ventilators, while Trump has questioned the state’s demands. 

Gov. Cuomo said today that coronavirus deaths in New York jumped by 731 since Monday, the highest single-day death spike yet in the state, for a total of 5,489 fatalities. 

“Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a brother, is a sister,” Cuomo said at today’s press conference. “So, a lot of pain again today.” 

Cuomo described the deaths as lagging indicators of the number of hospitalizations, noting people who were admitted to hospitals at the peak weren’t successfully treated. Although the number of critically ill patients kept rising, he said, the curve of infection was plateauing in New York.

The hospital admissions of virus patients has slowed down. He said  the average of the 3-day hospitalizations rate has decreased. The number of patients in intensive care and daily intubation numbers have gone down.

Yesterday, Cuomo said the state, the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, may have reached its apex. He said New York on PAUSE  will continue until April 29 because, he said, there is evidence that social distancing is working.



Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Life returns to the East Village

Quincy Walter May 5, 2021

Reopening for Ramadan

Hassan Abbas May 4, 2021

And the band played on

Xavier Bartaburu May 2, 2021

Queens residents mourn at Covid vigil

Annie Burky May 2, 2021

Floating for Free: COVID and the Staten Island Ferry

Trish Rooney May 2, 2021

COVID-19 has left many Black and Hispanic landlords in serious debt

Norah Hogan April 24, 2021

Village East movie theater reopens to the public

Inga Parkel April 13, 2021

Chinese adoptions halted by COVID

Inga Parkel March 24, 2021

Remote is the new workplace normal

Courtney Guarino March 24, 2021

One year of COVID-19 in New York City

Michelle Diaz March 16, 2021

COVID long haulers deal with lingering symptoms and doubt

Kaity Assaf March 5, 2021

Pandemic Weddings

Chuyan Jiang March 2, 2021

Pandemic fatigue 101

Chuyan Jiang February 28, 2021

Yankee Stadium becomes COVID-19 vaccine site for Bronx residents only

Michelle Diaz February 24, 2021

The queer community rallies behind their sacred spaces closed because of COVID-19

Inga Parkel February 23, 2021

Street vendors struggle as New Yorkers and tourists stay home

Norah Hogan February 13, 2021

Keeping the faith in COVID-19

Courtney Guarino February 3, 2021

Little Italy’s restaurants need indoor dining to survive pandemic

Michelle Diaz February 2, 2021

Stray pets find homes and love during pandemic

Inga Parkel February 1, 2021

No Actors, But the Show Goes On

James Pothen December 5, 2020

New York City, a place of refuge 

Edith Rousselot December 4, 2020

Commuting in a pandemic world

Michelle Diaz December 3, 2020

Battling food insecurities during a pandemic

Courtney Guarino December 3, 2020


Justin McGown December 3, 2020

Honk!: Cars earn a special spot in 2020

Luana Harumi December 3, 2020

Working out looks very different during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang December 2, 2020

One kitchen’s transformation in the age of isolation

Isabel Beer December 2, 2020

Nursing homes are filled with sadness and loss during pandemic shut down

Inga Parkel December 1, 2020

The show goes on

Norah Hogan December 1, 2020

Loyal members help keep independent cinemas afloat

Courtney Guarino December 1, 2020

Musicians deal with the reality of no live shows as covid takes center stage

Paola Michelle Ortiz December 1, 2020

 Black Friday’s Aftermath

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi November 30, 2020

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020