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Analysis

What’s Behind Trump’s WHO Funding Halt?

Sunday 19 April 2020
What’s Behind Trump’s WHO Funding Halt?

Related Content

Trump Halts WHO Funding amid Coronavirus Pandemic

WHO Deeply Concerned about ‘Rapid Escalation’ of Covid-19 across World

Alwaght- Coronavirus outbreak these days represents a substantial challenge to the world community. In fact, it has two sides, one pushing the world countries to unite and help each other and the other stirring tensions among various countries that accuse each other of standing as the cause of the crisis. 

Among many, the American President Donald Trump is a marked figure who over the past two weeks has been running a political clash with other countries and even the World Health Organization over the COVID-19 pandemic roots. 

Initially, the American leader dubbed the coronavirus a “Chinese virus” and accused Beijing of engineering it. As time went by, Trump on April 15 ordered the suspension of the US funding to the WHO. In his justification, the president said that the global health body has failed to do its duty regarding the pandemic and thus should be reasonable. He further accused China of being secretive regarding the pandemic and also of being biased in favor of China. This Trump move has been met on the world stage with various reactions. It is extremely important to analyze his action from a political point of view. 

Reactions to suspension of the WTO funding by Trump 

The move has so far drawn a set of reactions both at home and on the world arena. The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reacted to the funding severing by the White House, saying in a Twitter message: “There is no time to waste. WHO’s singular focus is on working to serve all people to save lives and stop COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Nancy Pelosi, Democratic majority leader and speaker of the House of Representatives also reacted to Trump’s decision. She said the move is “dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged.” She said that the president’s decision to halt the American funds to the WHO as a leading global organization in the combat against the COVID-19 pandemic is “senseless”, adding: “This is another case, as I have said, of the President’s ineffective response, that ‘a weak person, a poor leader, takes no responsibility. A weak person blames others.” 

Trump did not stay silent, however. 

“She is totally incompetent & controlled by the Radical Left, a weak and pathetic puppet. Come back to Washington and do your job” he said of Pelosi, reflecting an attack by Fox News commentator on the Democrat of California, adding: “Crazy ‘Nancy Pelosi, you are a weak person. You are a poor leader. You are the reason America hates career politicians, like yourself." 

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also was among those reacting to the US administration’s decision. In a statement, Guterres said it was "not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the World Health Organization or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus." 

"Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences," the UN secretary-general added, according to report. 

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also commented on the move, saying ion such emergency conditions questioning the global systems including the WHO’s deficiency is not untimely and useless.

"This is an example of a very selfish approach by the US authorities to what is happening in the world as regards the pandemic," Ryabkov was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying, adding: "Such a blow to this organization at a time when the eyes of the world community are in many ways looking precisely to it is a step worthy of condemnation and censure.” 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Spokesman Abbas Mousavi reacted to the US move, too. “The US is punishing the only global health coordinator at the worst possible time and while a global fight against a global disaster is underway. This is utter irresponsibility and a crime against humanity.”  

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a Twitter post said: We have to have close coordination in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the best ways and investments in this regard is strengthening the UN and its subsidiaries especially the WHO which is facing tangible difficulty providing test kits and developing a vaccine to stop the pandemic. 

Josep Borrell, the European Union foreign policy chief, in a Twitter post blasted the Trump’s move, saying: “Deeply regret US decision to suspend funding to WHO. There is no reason justifying this move at a moment when their efforts are needed more than ever.” 

Trump shows US’s true colors regarding human rights, seeks to shift the blame 

Regarding the Trump move, it can be asserted that the president seeks to shift the blame on others for his administration’s defeat in the political management and also handling of the coronavirus crisis. Thus helps him on the one hand justify his failures and on the other hand justify his shortcomings for the voters so that he can secure another term as president in the November 3 presidential election. 

Furthermore, his action must be taken as a revelation of the real face of the US and neoliberalism’s much-trumpeted human rights model. The US human rights are shaped by the logic of supremacy of the “civilized West” over the “uncivilized non-Western nations.” Human rights and the lives of people matter only if Western people and interests are involved.” Trump showed that non-Americans never matter to Washington and that the world community and world unity are nothing more than senseless slogans for the US.

Trump, additionally, showed that the unity and co-destiny of the Atlantic region are now over. Although some of the European countries struggle to save Atlanticism as a big symbol of unity of their views, the reality is that Trump never wants to recognize the US-EU co-destiny. Halting funding to an international organization whose main mission is saving the human lives symbolizes the US radical nationalism that is now threatening the European unity borders. 

 

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