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The Withdrawal of Funding to WHO is a Perfect Example of How Deplorable Political Ambitions Can Get

Riddhi Punamiya

Posted on May 18, 2020 04:41

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Instead of taking responsibility for its mishandling of the crisis, the Trump Administration has decided to withdraw funding to the World Health Organization.

While medical workers serve 12-hour shifts, while students are left without education and while families are left without food on the table, Washington is stained with the image of fingers pointing in opposite directions. Instead of taking responsibility for its mishandling of the crisis, the Trump Administration has decided to withdraw funding to the World Health Organization. It has decided to turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions in hope that such a scandal would efface the memory of the administration’s mismanagement of the crisis from the minds of Americans. Little does it realize that such steps would only deepen the stain.

WHO is not without its faults. From believing China’s overly-optimistic testaments to refusing to highlight Taiwan’s success in handling the crisis, mistakes were made. However, several nations downplayed the threat that the pandemic posed in its early phases. Trump, too, had tweeted that the US has the pandemic "very much under control" but as the virus races across the nation, fueled by a president deeply in denial and an administration whose mismanagement meant that the healthcare system is embedded in dysfunction, America has become symbolic of the extensive repercussions of mismanagement. Does this mean that his administration should no longer be funded?

Trump has defended his stance by criticizing WHO’s acceptive attitude towards China’s initial delays and suppression of information. However, one mustn’t forget that WHO had volunteered to send a team into China -- a request that Chinese officials denied -- and all said and done, China’s sovereignty cannot be violated. There is a misconception that the designation of the virus as a pandemic early on would have greatly diminished its threat but the designation doesn't imply that nations are obliged to follow certain guidelines. It just means that WHO is allowed to establish them. America had the chance to survey its framework right off the bat but decided not to.

America’s historical ties and financial strength have helped maintain it as a world leader but such policies distance it from that image and its dominance. From donating health care equipment to increasing funding to WHO, China is filling in the void. As such, there is a paradigm shift from China being considered as the reason for this virus to it being viewed as the answer. This shift also means that China gets much more leeway to exercise their power. WHO’s recognition of traditional Chinese medicine (which is yet to meet clinical standards) after years of resistance is proof enough.

There will be multiple opportunities to review WHO’s response, but it shouldn’t be now, and it shouldn’t be like this nor should it be at the cost of millions of innocent civilians. As of now, WHO is the only organization that is capable of monitoring and fighting the virus and its demise will only add to the debris that Americans are stuck under. Trump’s scapegoating means that America isn’t fighting against the virus, it’s fighting against Trump’s ego, and apparently it’s too large to overcome.

Riddhi Punamiya

Posted on May 18, 2020 04:41

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Source: FOX Sports
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