Demand President Trump Restores Funding To The World Health Organization
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The world needs the WHO now more than ever, but President Trump has cut the agency's funding.
Millions of people have been infected by COVID-19, which has grown into a global pandemic that’s claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. But amid the spiraling death toll, another contagion is spreading – blame – and it’s putting even more people risk.1
President Trump’s recent decision to cut funding to the World Health Organization, which the president has accused of “covering up” China’s role in the early days of the outbreak, is an example of this deadly blame game. Nobody disputes that the WHO, like many government leaders, made mistakes in the early days of the outbreak. But stripping the UN agency of critical funding during a global pandemic will only unleash devastating consequences.2
In addition to needlessly risking more lives, President Trump’s decision is effectively extending this pandemic. WHO researchers are working around-the-clock to find a vaccine, so cancelling America's contribution – which accounts for 15 percent of the agency’s funding – could disrupt these clinical trials, leaving the world vulnerable to future outbreaks.3,4 President Trump's decision will also hamper America's ability to re-open the country for business, because U.S. cities -- already desperately short on diagnostic testing -- can't reopen their economies without a way of telling who is healthy and sick.5
“The U.S. needs the World Health Organization to function properly,” Tom Inglesby, director of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security, told Fox News Sunday. “It is the organization that helps the world prepare and respond to this. We’re going to need the world to recover from Covid if we’re going to get normalcy back. ” 6
President Trump’s decision will have an outsized impact on poor countries that depend on the WHO for critical supplies, tests, training, and other vital services to help them contain the deadly virus. “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds,” Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, whose foundation works in many of the countries that depend on the WHO for such life-saving assistance, wrote on Twitter. “Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.” 6,7
Please sign the petition demanding that President Trump restores America’s funding to the World Health Organization. Our lives, and livelihoods, depend on it.
More information about this topic:
- “'As Dangerous As It Sounds': Reactions To U.S. Plan To Defund WHO During A Pandemic,” NPR, April 15, 2020
- “Now is ‘not the time’ to reduce funding for the World Health Organization in COVID-19 fight, urges Guterres,” UN News, April 14, 2020
- “Trump Defunds World Health Organization In the Middle of a Global Pandemic,” Vanity Fair, April 15, 2020
- “5 reasons the world needs WHO, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” UN News, April 9, 2020
- “The US economy can’t reopen without widespread coronavirus testing. Getting there will take a lot of work and money,” CNBC, April 16, 2020
- “Public health professionals plead with Trump not to defund WHO,” Politico, April 12, 2020
- “What Trump’s WHO Funding Freeze Means for the Most Vulnerable Countries,” Time, April 17, 2020
To President Trump,
Millions of people have been affected by the global pandemic, which has already claimed thousands of American lives. But global crisis require global solutions, which is why we’re writing to demand that you restore U.S. funding to the World Health Organization, whose work is vital to combatting COVID-19.
We understand that the WHO may have been slow in realizing the magnitude of the novel coronavirus outbreak. This was a critical mistake and one made, unfortunately, by many government leaders. But we don’t believe cutting off the agency’s main source of funding amidst a global pandemic is the right course of action, because many countries depend on the WHO for critical supplies, training, research, and other services vital to combatting COVID-19. This crucial work also keeps Americans safe, because viruses know no borders.
Moreover, WHO researchers and scientists are already racing to develop a vaccine, which will save American lives, prevent future outbreaks, and help the country safely reopen for business. Stripping the WHO of funding at this critical juncture will only prolong the pandemic, depress the economy further, and cause more people to die.
President Trump, we implore you to restore America's funding to World Health Organziation so that this agency can continue its life-saving work. The world needs the WHO now more than ever.