The once prestigious Lancet medical journal has called on the Biden administration to increase, significantly, U.S. funding of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) in order to reestablish American health leadership after four years of Donald Trump “disruption”.
The Lancet proposes that Mr. Biden will be able to rebuild trust among global partners by giving up large sums of money to international organizations.
“The incoming administration should mobilize 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.”
The Trump administration suspended all funding for the U.N. Population Fund in 2017. The Population Fund has been linked to support of population control programs such as China’s coercive abortion “one-child policy”.
“The UN Population Fund helped fund birth restrictions, fund forced abortions, and a massive and coercive family planning bureaucracy,” according to the testimony of Rep. Chirs Smith (R-NJ) in 2015. “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.’”
Funding for UNAIDS and the W.H.O. was also cut by the Trump administration in 2018, by 30 percent and 20 percent respectively.
President Trump threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the W.H.O. altogether in may of 2020. This move would cost the agency nearly $900 million biennially – over the concerns about Chinese influence.
Trump said the role of the W.H.O. is “mismanaging and covering up” the spread of Wuhan coronavirus when he suspended U.S. funding of the U.N. subsidiary.
“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.”
According to the op-ed, American global health policies ” have languished under President Trump.”
“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 revitalize 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.”