Unruly US withdrawal from WHO draws ire across globe


BEIJING: Washington’s decision to sever ties with the World Health Organization (WHO), widely seen as irresponsible and immoral, has once again riled the world for the Trump administration’s indulgence in scapegoating others, particularly China and the WHO, for its own malfeasance to handle the double crisis of the raging COVID-19 pandemic and rampant racial unrest across the country.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed China for loss of life and economic recession in the United States, as well as accused the WHO of being “China-centric.” However, it’s widely acknowledged that there is no evidence for the alleged wrongdoing of China and the WHO.
Public health experts and officials worldwide generally stand opposed to the U.S. president, debunking his moves “as a way to deflect attention” for his administration’s botched attempts to deal with domestic predicaments and calling for global collaboration.
Epidemiologists have revealed that 90 percent of American lives might have spared amid the pandemic had Washington imposed ristrictions including lockdown measures and social distancing two weeks earlier on March 2.
The pain for the U.S. exit from the WHO, a decision “both immoral and likely illegal,” will be inflicted on “the COVID-19 battlefields and in every poor community that relies on U.N. agencies for emergency food, child immunizations, essential medicines, and guidance,” Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize winning science writer, said in an article published by Foreign Policy.
Garrett also opined that Washington’s move to abandon the WHO “encapsulates the most questionable aspects of the president’s leadership style: his penchant to blame others for his mistakes, his refusal to share the global stage politely with other actors, his indulgence of blind self-interest, and his utter contempt of science.”
The Infectious Diseases Society of America “stands strongly against President Trump’s decision,” said Dr. Thomas M. File, its president, on Twitter.
“We will not succeed against this pandemic, or any future outbreak, unless we stand together, share information and coordinate actions.”
Calling Trump’s decision “shameful and irresponsible,” Ami Bera, Democrat of California in the U.S. House of Representatives, tweeted that leaving the WHO “will make the United States and the world less safe.”
The U.S. severance of ties with the WHO is “not a good sign,” said Shekhar Mande, director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India.
“WHO is a valuable body which has played an important role. It has been involved in smallpox elimination, polio virus elimination and it has worked very well with countries,” he said? according to Indian daily newspaper Mint.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also voiced his opposition against Washington’s move, criticizing it as “the wrong signal at the wrong time,” according to German news media Funke. “We cannot tear down the dike in the middle of a storm,” Maas was quoted by reporters as saying.–Agencies