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Trump’s halting of WHO funding is more than regrettable, it’s dangerous

Filed under: Health & Nutrition,International News,Special Comments |
Donald Trump

Charles Mwewa

On April 14th, 2020, US President Donald Tramp suspended funding to the World Health Organization (W.H.O) for reasons that make no sense in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Tramp is “… accusing W.H.O of mismanaging the spread of the novel coronavirus, and of not acting quickly enough to investigate the virus when it first emerged in China in December 2019” (CNN, Tuesday, April 16th, 2020).

The reason given for the suspension is laughable at best and damaging to Africa at worst. If, indeed, W.H.O had conspired with China to silence the origins of the pandemic, or if, indeed, W.H.O mismanaged the spread, why suspend funding when the pandemic is reaching its highest devastating peak? If the US president’s motive is the good management of the organization, why risk the lives of the majority innocent African poor who depend on W.H.O’s funds for research and containment?

I do not believe that Tramp is so concerned about W.H.O that he was moved with compassion to suspend funding. I believe that Tramp suspended funding for four major reasons.

First, it is because of the mounting criticism he faced at home (USA) for alleged failure to respond to the pandemic in time. Initially, he had accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But when criticism increased, he found a scapegoat in W.H.O.

Second, it does not make sense to halt funding right in the middle of the pandemic. The UN Secretary General António Guterres “warned that the timing for the decision was wrong,” (Fox News). Wrong it was, indeed. In the midst of rolling deaths, the funding is stopped. This means just one thing: More deaths.

Third, this action is injurious to race relations and the effort against racism. To those who follow world events, no-one can be duped that Tramp is such an angel that he wants the best for Africa. The target of this suspension is Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, W.H.O’s Director-General, who also happens to be a Black African. Tramp is punishing the entire continent of Africa just because W.H.O’s boss is an African. Just so Tedros Adhanom regretted and said, “…the coronavirus is not the only health crisis that the group works to combat,” (Axios, April 15th, 2020). Suspending funding to W.H.O is also causing the worsening of conditions for other diseases that WHO combats in Africa, such as malaria.

And fourth, the US President is forgetting actions such as these led to the failure of the League of Nations (LON) in the early parts of the twentieth century. It does not surprise those who remember the demise of LON and the emergence of the United Nations (UN) that the move “…drew immediate [worldwide] condemnation,” (Al Jazeera, Tuesday, April 14th, 2020).

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is not buying in Trump’s maneuverings.  According to the Canadian Global News of April 15th, 2020, the Canadian PM is smart, and said, “…U.S. President Donald Trump hasn’t tried to get Canada to follow suit in cutting off funding to the World Health Organization as the coronavirus spreads.” I hope that African leaders should stand up and force the Tramp administration to reverse its off-colored decision. This is patently wrong and dangerous.


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