The W.H.O. Should Not be Blamed

Asst.+Editor-in-Chief+Aida+Guo+defends+the+WHO+and+critiques+the+US+presidential+administration%27s+response+to+the+Covid-19+pandemic.

Image created by A. Guo

Asst. Editor-in-Chief Aida Guo defends the WHO and critiques the US presidential administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A. Guo, Asst. Editor-in-Chief

Around one week ago, President Donald Trump announced he would suspend U.S. funding to the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) for sixty days. His reason for the decision was accusing the W.H.O. of, “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the virus.

It is true that the W.H.O., a part of the U.N., made the mistake of declaring that the Coronavirus was not a global emergency on January 23rd. But during their declaration, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director-general, specifically said, “At this time, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen.” That clearly shows a sign of warning. 

In no way is the W.H.O. perfectly innocent, but they play a critical role in helping to prevent the spread of the ongoing, worldwide epidemic, and pulling funding from the organization is only going to make things worse. 

Furthermore, Trump seems to be blaming the W.H.O. as an excuse for his own mistakes. While he blames the organization for a delayed response to the virus, in late February he had called the virus a hoax, in March he compared COVID19 to the flu, and he still seems to downplay social distancing. So really, the degree to which this virus has gotten in the U.S. has not much to do with the W.H.O., but rather the current administration and the president himself.

Scapegoating is never the right way to resolve a problem, especially when you are talking about cutting funding from an organization that’s job is to keep us all safe when we need it the most.