US pledges $100 million to help fight coronavirus in China

The Hill

The United States is pledging $100 million in aid to help China and other countries dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“This commitment — along with hundreds of millions generously donated by the American private sector — demonstrates strong U.S. leadership in response to the outbreak,” Pompeo said in a statement

Pompeo said the aid would be met through existing funds “both directly and through multilateral organizations.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been asking member countries for donations to bolster response efforts after tapping $9 million from its contingency fund for emergencies.

Last week, the State Department helped arrange transportation to China for almost 18 tons of medical supplies.

President Trump on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the outbreak and expressed confidence in the country’s “strength and resilience in confronting the challenge of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak,” a White House spokesman said in a statement.

In a series of tweets Friday, Trump described Xi as “strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack” against the virus and predicted the outcome would be “very successful.”

Since the outbreak began in December, the coronavirus has killed more than 630 people, the majority in China. Worldwide, it has infected more than 31,400 people across 25 countries and territories, according to CNN.

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