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Saturday 28th January 2023 / 6 Rejab 1444

Trump vs WHO

The role of the World Health Organization (WHO) during a pandemic is crucial but the global health agency is mired into controversies and allegations over is handling of the crisis. These have been spearheaded by the US President Trump, who has reacted angrily over his handling of the outbreak.
Trump suspended funding for the WHO saying it has failed in this duty and must be held accountable. There have been increasing calls for the WHO chief to step down after accusations that he promoted China’s misinformation about the virus. There have been accusations that WHO ignored calls when Taiwan informed WHO about the virus early on. China could have influenced the WHO chief, who hailed from Ethiopia, as it has massive Chinese investment and even supported his election.
The decision to suspend WHO funds in the midst of a pandemic is deplorable and has received worldwide condemnation. Trump believes the virus would disappear one day like a miracle, assuring that everything is under control and the economy would reopen. The US President has been accused of ignoring warnings of a full-blown crisis and misleading Americans but he insists on doing his job right.
The US-China rivalry has ongoing even during the pandemic as conspiracy theories flourish. The Chinese foreign ministry first spread the conspiracy that the US was responsible for the coronavirus, and it was brought to Wuhan by a US soldier. Now the US media has reported that the virus leaked from a Wuhan lab by an intern rather than a wet market. This has been fanned by Trump himself even though there is no credible evidence.
It should also be remembered that US elections are scheduled this year despite the muzzled enthusiasm. US Congress is looking at ways to secure the elections including the option to vote by mail. The election is set between Trump and Biden and no US elections since World War II has ever been delayed. Trump is using the coronavirus crisis to further his political agenda but halting WHO funds is a disaster for world health.
The WHO is a force for good founded to protect against infectious diseases, health emergencies, and envisages universal healthcare for our well-being. As the WHO chief said, it is regrettable that coronavirus is exploiting the cracks between us when we are divided. There is no time to waste and all efforts should be made to serve lives and stop the pandemic.
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