This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 8, 2020:
President Trump kept another promise on Tuesday: He had earlier threatened to pull the United States out of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) unless the outfit shaped up. It didn’t, so he left.
The president filed a notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, with the UN Secretary General.
Trump cut off U.S. funding to WHO back in April. In a May letter to WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom, he explained, “On April 14, 2020, I suspended United States contributions to the World Health Organization pending an investigation by my Administration of [your] organization’s failed response to the COVID-10 outbreak. This review confirmed many of the serious concerns I raised, [including WHO’s] alarming lack of independence from the People’s Republic of China.”
The letter devoted wrote four pages to summarizing what the Trump administration learned. This included:
- WHO consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019, or even earlier;
- By December 30 WHO knew that there was a “major public health” concern in Wuhan;
- The next day Taiwan indicated that the virus could spread between humans. “Yet the WHO chose not to share any of this critical information with the rest of the world, probably for political reasons”;
- WHO repeatedly made claims about the coronavirus that were either grossly inaccurate or misleading, sometimes at the behest of China: “On January 21, 2020, President Xi Jinping of China reportedly pressured you not to declare the coronavirus outbreak [as] an emergency. You gave in to this pressure the next day and told the world that the coronavirus did not pose a Public Health Emergency of International Concern”;
- WHO repeatedly praised the Chinese government for its “transparency,” announcing that China had set a “new standard for outbreak control” that had “bought the world time” to fight the virus; and
- “By the time you finally declared the virus a pandemic on March 11, 2020, it had killed more than 4,000 people and infected more than 100,000 people in at least 114 countries around the world.”
Trump ended with this:
It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world. The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China.
My Administration has already started discussions with you on how to reform the organization.
But action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste.
That is why it is my duty, as President of the United States, to inform you that, if the World Health Organization does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization.
I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests.
The response from liberals and globalists was predictable and immediate. The O’Neill Institute from Georgetown University had already crafted a letter of complaint that had been signed by 750 “scholars, experts in public health and U.S. Constitutional law, and international law and relations” that said withdrawing from WHO would be a “dangerous action for global health,” would “likely cost lives,” and cause a number of WHO programs subsisting on American taxpayer funding to “suffer enormously.”
Worthies from Vassar College, Yale University, Harvard University, and Georgetown University signed the complaint.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in, calling Trump’s withdrawal “an act of senselessness as WHO coordinates the global fight agaisnt COVID-19,” adding, “With millions of lives at risk, the President is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus.”
Democrat Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois called Trump’s move a “retreat” and “short-sighted.”
RINO Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee agreed, claiming that while WHO made “mistakes,” the time to fix it “is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”
And presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden promised, “On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.”
In 1948, when Congress approved U.S. membership in the WHO, it allowed for a U.S. exit from the organizaiton, but only after giving a year’s notice and paying its dues during that year. At present, U.S. taxpayers are supporting this outfit with $450 million annually, about 15 percent of WHO’s annual budget.
This isn’t Trump’s first exit from globalist plans, programs, and entanglements. He has also quit the UN Human Rights Council, the Paris Climate Accord, and the Iran nuclear deal.