The once prestigious Lancet medical journal has called on the Biden administration to significantly increase U.S. funding of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) to reestablish American global health leadership after four years of “disruption” by Donald Trump.
In its January 2 op-ed titled “A global health action agenda for the Biden administration,” whose authors include Donna Shalala, former president of the Clinton Foundation, the Lancet proposes that Mr. Biden will be able to rebuild trust among global partners by ponying up large sums of money to international organizations.
“The incoming administration should mobilise partners to fund the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), designed to coordinate health and economic action in vulnerable countries,” the op-ed states. “So far, the UN has received only 40% of the US$9.5 billion GHRP goal for 2020.”
In 2017, the Trump administration suspended all funding for the U.N. Population Fund, which has been linked to the support of population control programs such as China’s coercive abortion “one-child policy.”
The United Nations has joined the World Economic Forum (WEF) to announce a global coronavirus news service, declaring the time has come for “new social norms” that seek out and correct “wrong” information. https://t.co/3d8acbyJ8n
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As Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) testified in 2015: “The UN Population Fund helped fund birth restrictions, fund forced abortions, and a massive and coercive family planning bureaucracy.”
“The UNFPA whitewashed China’s crimes for decades and continues to do so today,” Smith added, noting that on its website UNFPA “justifies its history in China, saying it was ‘tasked by the Executive Committee’ to help China and had to ‘engage with China as a sovereign nation.’”
The Trump administration also significantly cut U.S. funding for UNAIDS and the W.H.O. in 2018, by 30 percent and 20 percent respectively.
And in May 2020, Mr. Trump threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the W.H.O. altogether — a move that would cost the agency nearly $900 million biennially — over concerns about Chinese influence.
Trump cited the role of the W.H.O in “mismanaging and covering up” the global spread of the Wuhan coronavirus when he suspended U.S. funding of the U.N. subsidiary.
Embattled W.H.O. chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was warmly applauded Sunday by China’s Communist regime. https://t.co/AZnUh28IYl
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“They’re a puppet of China, they’re China-centric to put it nicer,” Trump said. “They gave us a lot of bad advice.”
“Biden must also strengthen WHO, not only for the response to COVID-19, but also for the full gamut of health challenges, ranging from maternal, child, and adolescent health to injuries, non-communicable diseases, and universal health coverage,” the Lancet declares in its op-ed. “Addressing health inequities will be crucial in all these domains. WHO’s $5.8 billion biennial budget—about the size of a large US hospital—is incommensurate with its global mandate.”
The Biden administration should push to double mandatory contributions to W.H.O., it states, equating “leadership” with funding.
“With compound health crises worldwide, UN humanitarian appeals face record shortfalls,” the essay declares. “The Biden administration could build on the tradition of US humanitarian leadership by funding at least 40% — the USA’s share of high-income country gross national income — of UN and WFP appeals.”
American global health policies “have languished under President Trump,” the op-ed asserts.
U.N. chief Antonio Guterres called for the world to “urgently redistribute power” so as to end gender inequality which he said “should shame us all in the 21st century because it is not only unacceptable, it is stupid.” https://t.co/sPyAaYudUL
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“CDC’s China office, for example, was cut from 47 to 14 staff under the Trump presidency,” it notes. “Overall, US relationships are frayed, not only with China but also other key allies.”
“This is the time to revitalise US global health leadership, after a ruinous retreat from global solidarity under the Trump administration,” the article concludes. “International cooperation on the compound crises of COVID-19 could become a model for tackling other existential global hazards.”