Hollywood elites back WHO coronavirus concert after Trump accuses agency of cover-up
While President Donald Trump may no longer support the World Health Organization, Hollywood has still got its back.
The president recently announced his decision to halt funding to the agency over its alleged mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, but the WHO is still going ahead with its star-studded benefit concert on Saturday, which would see a constellation of Tinseltown pop stars come together to raise funds for the agency, Breitbart reports.
The lineup includes some of the biggest names in Hollywood, with Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lopez becoming the latest celebrities to join the show.
The WHO is embroiled in a controversy after allegedly downplaying the severity of the coronavirus and tended to Chinese interests. In fact, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is facing calls to resign after the agency allegedly did not take heed of Taiwan’s warnings about the coronavirus in December. According to Taiwan, the WHO repeatedly ignored its concerns on the gravity of the outbreak.
The concert, titled 'One World: Together At Home', is reportedly dedicated to healthcare workers who are on the front lines battling the pandemic. Organized by the WHO and non-profit Global Citizen, the event is set to air live Saturday on three major US networks as well as social media platforms.
According to the report, the lineup was curated by Lady Gaga, who brought together some of the biggest stars in the music industry including Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Chris Martin, Alanis Morissette, John Legend, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Lopez, and Lizzo.
Trump announced last Tuesday at his daily coronavirus press briefing at the White House that his administration is putting a hold on funding for the WHO pending a review of the UN agency's alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Furthermore, Trump said the agency is “China-centric” and has “problems the likes of which no one can believe."
“They’ve been wrong about a lot of things,” he told the press at the White House Rose Garden. “And they had a lot of information early and they didn’t want to – they seemed to be very China-centric.”
The US leader noted that while American taxpayers contribute over $400 million and $500 million a year to the WHO, China spends approximately $40 million in comparison.
“They called it wrong. They missed the call. They could have called it months earlier," he continued. "They would have known and they should have known and they probably did know. So we’ll be looking into that very carefully and we’re going to put a hold on money spent [sic] to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see. It’s a great thing if it works but when they call every shot wrong, it’s not good.”
The commander-in-chief also highlighted how the WHO criticized his administration's decision to impose travel restrictions on China in January.
'One World: Together At Home' will be the second virtual benefit concert in support of health workers during the pandemic, coming after the March 29 virtual concert hosted by Fox and featuring the likes of Elton John, Tim McGraw, and the Backstreet Boys.