We Need the World Health Organization A Lot More Than We Need Donald Trump
As his approval rating in handling the virus crisis craters, President Trump continues to look for scapegoats and his list now includes the World Health Organization [WHO]. Trump threatened to cut off their funding yesterday, nonsensically saying they were "China-centric, and "have been wrong about a lot of things." Nothing could be further from the truth. While Trump was still minimizing the Covid-19 outbreak, the WHO was sounding the alarm.
The Guardian: "The WHO declared Covid-19 a public health emergency on 30 January, nearly a month before Trump tweeted, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA”, and proclaimed, “One day – it’s like a miracle - it will disappear.” He eventually declared a national emergency on 13 March."
If the President had listened to the WHO's guidance in early February, the outbreak would have been corralled sooner in America and Trump knows that. So, in order to shift the blame, he is trying to change history, at least among those in his base who only watch Fox News.
That is not to say that the WHO has been right in every instance. There may be a valid argument that the WHO could have raised the alarm several weeks earlier, but considering that Trump didn't heed their Jan. 30th announcement, it's pretty clear he wouldn't have reacted to one earlier in January.
Unfortunately, Trump's attack on the WHO yesterday will undermine the organization at a time when their mission is critical to fighting the global pandemic. While leaders across the globe, like Donald Trump, have attempted to "spin" their own performance during the crisis, the World Health Organization has been providing objective leadership and information trusted around the world. That's their job, and considering their budget constraints, they have performed admirably. Rebecca Katz, a scholar at Georgetown University stated it perfectly in an interview recently, “if there wasn’t a W.H.O., you’d have to invent it.”
Katz is correct. The World Health Organization isn't perfect, but it's essential to fighting a pandemic that knows no national borders.
Here is a great background piece on the World Health Organization and its important mission.
By : Don Lam & Curated Content