In the Middle of a Global Pandemic, the Trump Administration Announces Withdrawal From the World Health Organization
Trump said back in May that he was going to pull the United States out of the World Health Organization (WHO), but considering everything that has happened in the world since then, many were hoping that he would admit it was a mistake. Alas, today the White House announced that it is indeed happening.
According to The Hill, “The U.S. has submitted its withdrawal notification to the United Nations secretary-general, the official said.” Withdrawal requires a year’s notice, so this gives the November election just another frustrating level of stress. So now, in the middle of a global pandemic that is spiking across the country, the Trump administration is taking steps to leave us absolutely vulnerable in dealing with this.
Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ) tweeted that the administration informed Congress of the withdrawal plans, allowing the rest of us to realize just what exactly is going on.
Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic.
To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 7, 2020
The question always comes up of what does this mean for his “base,” and all it takes is a few scrolls to see talking heads on Fox News say that since the WHO is in China’s “back pocket,” it’s time for the U.S. to take its money and leave, referring to the fact that the U.S. has contributed approximately $450 million dollars a year. Many have called Trump’s criticism of China a deflection of his own failures to handle the pandemic, and I don’t disagree.
Whatever issues may exist in the WHO, none of that is corrected by us leaving, especially when COVID-19 is still thriving and mutating in the country. Plus, even once we do get a handle on COVID, what does this mean for the next outbreak?
Amanda Glassman, executive vice president of the Center for Global Development think tank, spoke to USA Today and said that because of zoonotic transmission (animal to human), there is always a risk of another incident:
The probability of a high lethality strain of influenza in the next decade or so is also significant, said Amanda Glassman, a public health expert and executive vice president of the Center for Global Development think tank. She said corrective measures at the WHO are needed but can only happen with the United States staying engaged.
“Withdrawal is counterintuitive at best and dangerous to human life at worst. The US Congress should immediately explore what power it has to prevent this from happening,” Glassman explained.
Congress should do something about this, shouldn’t they …? If only we could rely on that branch of government right now.
(via The Hill, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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