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Should the U.S. have defunded the World Health Organization (WHO)?

Should the U.S. have defunded the World Health Organization (WHO)?

Fact Box

  • Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Health Organization (WHO), established on April 7, 1948, is an offshoot of the United Nations [1] with the main objective, as stated in their Constitution, to ensure that all people attain “the highest possible level of health' [2].
  • Up until recently, the U.S. was the single largest contributor to the WHO [3], contributing up to the maximum allowed rate of 22% [4]. 
  • In 2019, the U.S. contributed over $400 million to the WHO; China contributed $44 million [5].
  • Last year, the WHO estimated its 2020-2021 budget to be $4.84 billion [6].

Mandy (Yes)

The Covid-19 Pandemic has proven that the World Health Organization (WHO) has become a propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first non-physician to become the organization’s director-general [1], is very close with Chinese leaders since they financed his electoral victory [2]. Tedros has not questioned China’s narrative of the Coronavirus timeline or characteristics despite the history of SARS in 2002, which proved China lies about outbreaks and disease ramifications [3].

The WHO has instead actively praised China for their handling of the crisis [4,5,6], protecting China even though China denies responsibility for the outbreak [7,8,9], silenced doctors [10], destroyed evidence of the virus [11], and has tried to blame the origin and spread on the U.S. [12]. If China had been forthcoming, thousands of lives could have been spared [13,14]. Moreover, the WHO amplified China’s false and dangerous claims that there was no 'human-to-human transmission” [15,16] and allowed 7 million Wuhan-providence travelers to fly throughout January, thus exposing not only China but the rest of the world [17]. 

As Senator Rick Scott (FL) said, the “WHO needs to be held accountable for their role in promoting misinformation and trying to help communist China cover up a global pandemic...Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have, what they knew and when they knew it, the WHO never bothered to investigate further. Their inaction cost lives” [18]. Financial pressure is often used to discipline organizations and countries that cause problems in the international community [19]. This temporary defunding (60-90 days) [20] for investigation should lead to a permanent restructuring of the way WHO operates and the biases of its members.

Juan (No)

The Coronavirus does not care about President Trump’s “America First” policy or his belief that the World Health Organization (WHO) fumbled the handling of the Coronavirus [1]. Temporarily suspending payments to the WHO is wrong because it ignores the fact that the WHO responded as soon as early January. Worse still, President Trump’s decision endangers lives and isolates America on the world stage.

On April 15th, NPR reported the WHO’s response. As reported by NPR’s Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme executive director pointed out that, 'in the first weeks of January, the WHO was very, very clear. We alerted the world on January the 5th.” Dr. Ryan further contradicted President Trump by adding that, “systems around the world, including the U.S., began to activate their incident management systems on January the 6th” [2].

The WHO’s Coronavirus information page demonstrates that they launch country-specific missions, deploy rapid response teams to hard-hit areas, and report accurate data, which are critical for both scientific research and public education. Without the United States’ contributions, those missions might be in jeopardy. 

The United States is the largest contributor to the WHO, representing nearly 15 percent of the WHO’s contributions [3]. Additionally, as reported by MSN, none of America’s allies are joining the United States, leaving it alone and mistaken [4]. A pandemic is an opportunity for America to offer leadership. Instead, the Coronavirus reveals a country that is endangering lives all by itself.

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