President Trump spoke of cutting funds for the World Health Organization (WHO) months ago, and as of late last week declared the United States would be cutting ties with the organization. Unsurprisingly, WHO is begging and pleading to maintain a relationship with the U.S. because they have historically received the most money from us.
Using words such as “generous” and “immense,” the head of the World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated his case to keep the money flowing. “The United States’ contribution and generosity towards global health over many decades has been immense, and it has made a great difference in public health all around the world.”
China defended WHO saying Trump’s move was selfish and his administration is “addicted” to quitting international bodies and treaties. Certainly, if China disagrees with Trump he will reconsider, as their Communist opinion is so valuable to the United States. Sarcasm intended.
It’s no wonder WHO is desperate to maintain a relationship with the United States. In his speech discussing severing ties, Trump acknowledged that the U.S. contributes about $450 million to the organization, which is its largest source of financial support. By comparison, China gives $40 million.
The problem is, the UN organization has been receiving so much financial aid, but when push came to shove and a global pandemic arose, all the money in the world wouldn’t have fixed its ineffective behavior. As some political pundits have said, when one doesn’t do their job, they get fired.
During Trump’s speech in the Rose Garden last week, he lamented that “China has total control” over the WHO. When President Trump first banned flights from China, WHO’s Ghebreyesus warned the action would “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.”
It was US intelligence who alerted President Trump to the misinformation provided by China in order to downplay the severity of the COVID-19 virus and how quickly it was spreading. Even after a global emergency was declared, Ghebreyesus was cautious not to offend China: “Using the word pandemic carelessly has no tangible benefit…but it does have a significant risk in terms of amplifying unnecessary and unjustified fear and stigma and paralyzing systems. It may also signal that we can no longer contain the virus, which is not true.”
It is not “fear and stigma” which paralyzed our systems. It was, in fact, a pandemic that did so; a virus that we actually could not contain.