Since 2010, $3.5 billion of U.S. taxes have gone to funding the World Health Organization (WHO). For at least a decade, the United States has been one of the WHO’s greatest sources of funding. But back in April, President Trump paused U.S. funding to the WHO while conducting a review to investigate the organization’s handling of the coronavirus. The verdict?
Well, while the threat of an imminent second wave grows, President Trump has officially begun to withdraw the country’s place in the WHO. Effective roughly a year after its announcement, the U.S. will officially no longer be a part of the WHO come July 6, 2021.
The WHO has been instrumental in the global fight against COVID-19, providing the public with up-to-date information and aiding hospitals with ventilators and personal protective equipment. Trump, though, claims dissatisfaction with the WHO’s handling of coronavirus. He is particularly claiming dissatisfaction with the WHO’s inability to hold China accountable for the spread of the virus. I mean, who can forget this tweet?
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020
First, the coronavirus began in Wuhan, China. It makes sense that the WHO would investigate the original source of the virus. Recently as of July 7, the WHO announced plans to travel to China to do just this. Second, travel bans do more harm than good. Travel bans are far more likely to contribute to the spread of xenophobia than they are to halt the spread of disease. As for accountability? Does Trump need a reminder of the several warnings he ignored earlier this year regarding COVID-19? Because that certainly did not help the United States prepare for a global health crisis.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has already promised to reverse this withdrawal on his first day in office if elected. The only shot the U.S. has at fixing all this, before the damages become irreparable, is contingent on getting Biden in the Oval Office. Do you agree and think the country needs Biden to fix this? Or do you think the U.S. can stay out of the WHO?
Does the U.S. need the WHO?
They need each other!