The World’s Apex Health Body Just Lost The World’s Apex Nation.
BY: Chiranjeev Beniwal
The President of the United States has announced it is ending both US involvement with the World Health Organization (WHO) and is cutting off the dollar pipeline to the WHO headquarters in Geneva. This move is disastrous for the WHO, with the organization losing its biggest donor (comprising nearly 16% of total funds) at a time when the organization is cash-starved amidst a worldwide pandemic.
President Trump’s casus belli against the WHO mainly involved allegations of collusion with China and its cover up of the initial stages of the Coronavirus pandemic. Having originally given an ultimatum of 30 days for the WHO to make supposed reforms, Trump reneged on his timeline and decided to immediately cut funding.
While from the perspective of many people, the decision may be justified, from an objective viewpoint, the decision is irresponsible not only towards American foreign policy, but also towards the world as a whole. The WHO is the coordinating body for countless health initiatives worldwide, including vaccination programs for many other diseases. Pulling the plug on funding just because of the WHO’s response to Covid-19 irresponsibly sweeps the threat of numerous other diseases and afflictions under the rug, to the detriment of healthcare in many developing nations worldwide. The diversion of most of WHO’s funds towards the Covid-19 pandemic has already resulted in the reversal of progress in fighting other diseases, but this further decrease in funding is absolutely disastrous in the fight against diseases like malaria and polio.
In addition, by pulling out of such a well-respected organization, the US has, in effect, left a power vacuum in the WHO that other entities, such as China or the EU, are sure to try to fill. By backing out of the WHO, the USA also alienates itself from the UN as a whole, ceding ground to the Chinese who are, in many ways, already involved in a power struggle with the US. As the US backs away from the WHO and UN, other nations like China eagerly fill the vacuum and increase their power on the world stage.
Overall, the decision to strip the WHO of US funding, while justified from the perspective of certain groups, is very narrow-minded in the sense that it completely ignores the importance of the WHO is fighting multiple diseases, and the decision is to the detriment of the worldwide power of the US, which has been based upon its leadership of world organizations since the era of the Bretton-Woods Conference.
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