Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “It reflects our renewed commitment to ensuring the WHO has the support it needs to lead the global response to the pandemic, even as we work to reform it for the future.”
President Joe Biden’s administration will pay more than $200 million to the World Health Organization (WHO), reversing another decision made by the outgoing Trump White House.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday, describing the move as “fulfilling” of U.S. “financial obligations” to the United Nations health body.
Voice of America reported Biden administration’s resumption of payment to the WHO:
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his international debut at the online meeting. He said the Biden administration will work with partners to expand COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution capacity, and increase access, including to marginalized populations.
He also said Washington would pay over $200 million in assessed and current obligations to WHO by the end this month. Funding stopped to the organization last year under the Trump administration, which did not like how WHO handled the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a key step forward in fulfilling our financial obligations as a WHO member,” Blinken said. “It reflects our renewed commitment to ensuring the WHO has the support it needs to lead the global response to the pandemic, even as we work to reform it for the future.”
“The sum amounts to the commitments the United States had made to the global health body, to which it has been the largest donor,” French news agency AFP reported.
The position taken by Blinken is in sharp contrast to the one held by the Trump administration, which terminated all funding and ties to the WHO last year. In April 2020, Trump stopped all payments to the WHO for its “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
“I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interests,” Trump wrote to the WHO in May 2020.
Trump severed ties to the UN health body, accusing it of being under China’s influence.
“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year,” he said.
The former president also slammed the WHO when it opposed his January 2020 travel ban to slow down the spread of the Chinese virus.
“And they actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it. And they were wrong,” he said last year.
Trump was right in questioning the WHO’s handling of the Wuhan pandemic and Beijing’s undue influence on the organization.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a former Ethiopian politician with reportedly dubious ties to Communist China, runs the WHO.
“Chinese diplomats had campaigned hard for the Ethiopian, using Beijing’s financial clout and opaque aid budget to build support for him among developing countries,” British newspaper The Times reported in 2017.
In the wake of the worldwide pandemic, the UN health body has circulated Chinese misinformation and propaganda. At the onset of the contagion outbreak in Wuhan, the Tedros-led WHO denied that the virus could spread from “human-to-human.”DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.