• Worldwide COVID-19 cases breached the two million mark on April 15
  • President Donald Trump said the U.S. has passed its peak
  • World leaders criticized Trump's decision to pull out WHO funding amid the pandemic

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has breached the two million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University's daily tally.

As of Wednesday (April 15) 8:00 p.m. ET, a total of 2,060,927 people have been infected by the virus, while 134,178 have died from COVID-19. The United States logged the highest number of deaths at 27,940.

The latest coronavirus figures come as President Donald Trump is set to make an announcement on the reopening of the economy. In his previous press briefing, the president said that America has passed its COVID-19 peak as recent data suggests declining cases in New York and the flattening of the curve in other cities.

"These encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country, which we’ll be announcing," Trump said. "We’re going to be announcing guidelines and we’ll be talking about various states and it's very exciting."

US President Donald Trump announced a freeze in funding for the World Health Organization
US President Donald Trump announced a freeze in funding for the World Health Organization AFP / MANDEL NGAN

On Tuesday, Trump announced that the U.S. would halt its funding of the World Health Organization (WHO). As its biggest donor, the U.S. covers at least 15% of the WHO's annual budget or about $400 million.

The president said U.S. would have to review the agency's role in "severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus." Trump's call, however, has been condemned by the global community as COVID-19 cases passed the two million mark.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that governments working together should be the priority than cutting WHO's resources and funding. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that U.S.' choice would weaken the capabilities of WHO and affect international cooperation. European Union chief of foreign policy Josep Borrel also said that Trump's decision could not be justified amid the pandemic.

David Nabarro, WHO's special envoy, said that accusations against the agency should have been made after the pandemic is over.

"Remember this is not just the WHO, this is the whole public health community that is involved right now," Nabarro said. “Every single person in the world is a public health worker now, everybody is taking responsibility, everybody is sacrificing, everybody is involved."

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that they regret Trump's decision as the U.S. "has been a long-standing and generous friend of the WHO."