US President Donald Trump has directed his administration to halt funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The country, which is the highest funder to the organisation, has so far recorded 25,981 deaths. Last year, it provided $400m in funding to the WHO. Trump said: “With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible.”
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has launched an online training package in support of Operation COVID-19 Assist. More than 52,000 defence personnel have already registered for the training courses. The package is intended to train ADF personnel with no prior experience in providing medical support and performing other health and emergency tasks. It is also being offered to Australia’s international military partners.
US Defense Secretary Dr Mark Esper has said that a Department of Defense (DoD) contract under the Defense Production Act is set to provide 39 million N95 respirator masks over the next three months. Separately, the Defense Logistics Agency has awarded a $415m contract for 60 decontamination systems. These devices are capable of sanitising up to 80,000 N95 masks daily for reuse.