The US President’s attacks on WHO are transparent maneuvers – and yet there are questions about the work of the World Health Organization.
US President Donald Trump has stopped payments to the World Health Organization (WHO) for the time being. It failed in its basic duties, uncritically relied on the government’s information in China, and disseminated it. “”So many deaths have been caused by their mistakes,” said Trump – a devastating verdict on an organization founded after the Second World War under the auspices of the United Nations with the mission “to promote and protect the health of all peoples””.
It’s another easy-to-see Trump maneuver to distract from his failure. He was warned early, long talked about the flu and that the virus would go away on its own. It fits the ideological pattern of discrediting international organizations, especially the UN. Trump is now demanding that his name be printed on the relief checks that the government is using to help the Americans. The presidential election is approaching and his chances are the only thing Trump cares about, even when dealing with COVID-19.
Regardless of Trump’s domestic motives, there are serious questions about WHO’s work in the crisis. She has ignored warnings from Taiwan, and WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus will have to put up with the question of how much he has given in to the massive pressure from Beijing, why his organization has spread the Communist Party’s statements, sometimes verbatim, as experts in others Already warned countries of a pandemic.
Trump’s search for scapegoats only complicates the investigation. The right and necessary way to assess WHO performance and deal with a possible failure is an independent and neutral investigation, led by recognized experts. It must take into account internal decision-making processes and possible scientific miscalculations as well as political pressures and the structures of the WHO, which was still praised in 2003 for effective crisis management in the Sars epidemic. This is imperative simply because the next pandemic is probably a matter of time.
Trump’s decision to initially withhold the United States’ contributions from the WHO could have catastrophic consequences. In developing countries and crisis areas, it is often the most important or even the only organization that can help. The lives of millions of people who have little to expect from national health systems and governments are at risk there.
The corona crisis once again makes it clear that more cooperation is needed in the globalized world. The virus knows no borders, even if Trump wants it to. However, international cooperation also requires that states behave transparently and act in the interests of the global community. As much as Trump’s attacks on the WHO are motivated internally, it is also how China deals with the pandemic, be it at the provincial level or the central government in Beijing. The West will also have to consider what consequences it should and must derive from this for relations with China.