The Trump administration submitted a notice of withdrawal from the World Health Organization to the U.N. Secretary General yesterday. The move comes after heavy criticism from President Trump of the body for what he calls a pro-China bias.
The WHO commended China’s handling of Covid19 even after it became clear that China was hiding the extent of the pandemic as well as the danger it posed to the rest of the world.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill disagreed with the Trump administration’s decision however.
“I disagree with the president’s decision. Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it,” Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said in a statement.
“If the administration has specific recommendations for reforms of the WHO, it should submit those recommendations to Congress, and we can work together to make those happen,” he said.
Alexander’s complaint seems to be that withdrawal from the WHO will affect implementation of any Covid19 vaccine that becomes available which will make it harder to stop the virus before it reaches U.S. shores.
Trump announced a freeze of U.S. aid to the organization in May and at the same time announced that the relationship between the U.S. and the WHO would be ending.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” he said.
“The world is now suffering as a result of the misfeasance of the Chinese government.”