Scott Morrison and Donald Trump discuss coronavirus in phone call between 'best of mates'

Scott Morrison and Donald Trump chewed over the World Health Organization's performance and the need for greater transparency.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Donald Trump. Source: Getty

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken to United States President Donald Trump about the economic impacts of coronavirus and performance of the World Health Organization.

Mr Morrison and Mr Trump on Wednesday discussed the need for transparency, in a clear reference to China, and the need to improve global institutions like the WHO in their response to pandemics.

"Just got off the phone with US President Donald Trump. We had a very constructive discussion on our health responses to Covid-19 and the need to get our market-led and business centres economies up and running again," Mr Morrison said in a tweet. 

"We also talked about the World Health Organisation and working together to improve the transparency & effectiveness of international responses to pandemics," he added.

"Australia & the US are the best of mates & we’ll continue to align our efforts as we work towards the recovery on the other side of this virus."

United States President Donald Trump has been hugely critical of the WHO.
United States President Donald Trump has been hugely critical of the WHO. Source: Getty

Last week Mr Trump withdrew over $500 million in contributions to the WHO, accusing it of being "China-centric" and mishandling its response to the virus. 

Mr Morrison also raised Australia's focus on supporting countries in the Pacific and South East Asia, where the United States also holds a keen strategic interest.

While Australia hasn't followed the United States in pulling funding from the WHO, senior ministers have been critical of the United Nations body's response to the pandemic.

Mr Morrison has pushed the case for the review in phone calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at .

2 min read
Published 22 April 2020 at 2:17pm