The scale of this pandemic has baffled experts, but the only way forward is to strengthen alliances and work together for the common good. A week after tweeting that the US would suspend funding to the World Health Organization if it doesn’t roll out reforms within a month, President Donald Trump has ended all ties with the health agency. What did not sound like a serious threat then has now been taken to the extreme by the president who believes every organisation is an appendage of the US and can be run on the whims of the current incumbent in the White House. The WHO wasn’t given time to even consider reforms and America’s exit would mean the end of more than $500 million in annual funding to the health body.
The move could have a devastating impact on global health and severely impede financial support for the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Six million people have tested positive with Covid-19 globally. More than 367,540 have died and many are struggling for their lives on ventilators in hospitals across cities in the world. The US, a leader in health innovation, scientific research and modern medicine, has been hit the hardest. The country is struggling to contain the spread of virus and protect its people. Over 104,000 Americans have died and the numbers continue to rise. Yet, Trump seems to be playing to the gallery in this election season and is scapegoating the WHO to cover up his administration’s own failings.
US withdrawal is about Trump’s domestic politics and is an attempt to divert attentions from the failings of his administration. It puts lives in peril, but the president doesn’t care during an election season when only votes matter.