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WHO will support international health crises? What if Trump Halts financial contributions to WHO

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Director of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received a letter from Pres. Trump on Monday, criticizing “repeated missteps by you and your organization,” and that if the WHO does not “commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days,” he would permanently halt financial contributions to WHO.

Since WHO foundation in 1948, composed of 194 member states and delegation of health experts and leaders to represent each country in the World Health Assembly, the organization had developed as decision and policy-making body for global healthcare.

As death toll passed 90,000 on Tuesday, Trump blamed WHO on its procrastination from issuing epidemic or pandemic alerts earlier this year. As the biggest payer of WHO, the US reaped no benefits from the WHO this year.

While Trump threatens to pull out of WHO, Germany and France point fingers at Trump. Trump in turn, points finger back, angry at the rest of the member nations that pay significantly less, but reaps the same or more benefits. And the data seems to show that the US has the right to be angry at WHO’s incompetence in facing the Novel Coronavirus this year.

According to WHO, major countries’ total contributions to the WHO (2018-2019) shows the following:

United States: $893 million (membership dues $237 million + $656 million from donations)

United Kingdom: $435 million

Germany: $292 million

China: $86 million

France: $76 million

Russia: $57 million

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated to WHO $531 million in the same period.

Considering that the top two contributors are the US and the Gates Foundation providing more funding than the top 5 contributors combined (other than the US), WHO would be quite lost for funds should Pres. Trump indeed decide to stop funding.

Countries like South Korea took drastic measures earlier in the pandemic, and despite seeing initially high numbers of coronavirus infections, saw minimal deaths and is in the path to recovery. South Korea did not depend on the WHO to provide guidance, but the US did, which is why WHO is in the place it is today.


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