The Trump Administration this week notified the World Health Organization of its imminent withdrawal from the agency due to its failure to adequately respond to COVID-19 and its loyalty to China.
“The President has been clear that the WHO needs to get its act together,” said State Department spokesperson. “That starts with demonstrating significant progress and the ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks with transparency and accountability.”
Critics say the move will obstruct global efforts to find a COVID-19 vaccine, though the exit would not take effect until next summer.
“I disagree with the president’s decision,” argues Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the chamber’s health committee. “Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the WHO might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”
The withdrawal was condemned by groups including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians.
“This dangerous withdrawal not only impacts the global response against COVID-19, but also undermines efforts to address other major public health threats,” wrote the groups in a joint statement. “We call on Congress to reject the Administration’s withdrawal from the WHO and make every effort to preserve the United States’ relationship with this valued global institution. Now is the time to invest in global health, rather than turn back.”
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has already stated that he will reverse Trump’s decision if he is elected in November: “Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health,” tweeted Biden. “On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore leadership on the world stage.”
If Trump is re-elected and the US exits the WHO, it will be the first time a government has ever left the agency.
President Trump suspended funding to the WHO in April amid claims that the agency had helped China suppress information about COVID-19 and had ignored early warnings about the severity of the disease. In May, Trump signaled his intentions to withdraw from the agency after it “failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms.”
In the meantime, COVID-19 cases continue to increase throughout the United States including 400,000 new cases identified during the holiday weekend. In total, more than 130,000 Americans have died from the disease.
The United States is by far the WHO’s largest donor (contributing 15% of its total budget) and it is unclear if the agency can survive without its support.
Author’s Note: The WHO could have prevented a lot of death around the world, but instead chose to prioritize its relationship with China. This agency is corrupt beyond repair.
In the words of Rep. James Comer (R-KY): “China lied, the WHO complied, and Americans died.”