We need to help our neighbors
President Donald Trump’s announcement that he is cutting U.S. funding for the World Health Organization has been condemned throughout the world. Critics insist that a healthy WHO is essential especially now, as the COVID-19 pandemic rages.
But the question is whether the WHO, a United Nations affiliate, really is doing the job for which it is designed. Clearly, it is not. That was demonstrated earlier this year when WHO officials backstopped the Chinese Communist Party in maintaining that the COVID-19 outbreak had been contained and was not a serious threat to the rest of the world.
WHO has managed to project an image of an essential public health organization. The agency indeed has undertaken numerous initiatives that have saved lives. Unfortunately, it has allowed politics to influence decisions. In some ways, it has become a threat to public health.
Trump’s decision may and should prompt WHO officials to look in the mirror and get back to pursuing the agency’s mission.
Until that happens, however, the president’s critics have a point. Now, as COVID-19 continues to take lives by the tens of thousands, is a time when the United States should be stepping up its efforts to help.
To that end, Trump has pledged the United States will increase is support for public health initiatives, especially in Third World countries.
That simply must be done — and such funding should be publicized. Americans have a reputation for helping our neighbors, and they need to know that compassion has not flagged.