Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that the United States plans to remain a member of the World Health Organization after former President Donald Trump threatened to withhold American funding from the organization and moved to leave the United Nations’s health agency completely.
“I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci said while informing the WHO’s executive board that President Biden planned to reverse Trump’s move.
Fauci said the U.S. will continue to fund the organization and cease Trump’s drawdown of U.S. staff, saying that America’s relationship with the WHO is “one that we value deeply and look to strengthen going forward.”
Biden sent a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to retract Trump’s withdrawal, Fauci said. Tedros responded to Fauci on Twitter, saying, “thank you my brother Tony for leading the delegation” at the executive board meeting and confirming that the U.S. would continue to support the organization.
Tedros also welcomed Fauci to the WHO’s executive board, where he will replace Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir.
“This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health,” Tedros said, lauding Fauci for his “incredible leadership” during the pandemic and noting that the U.S. plays a “very crucial” role in global public health.
“And I send my deep thanks and my warm congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris, and to the American people,” Tedros added.
Trump had been very critical of the WHO in recent months, saying the organization had too close of a relationship with China while criticizing the organization’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump said that the U.S. would put a permanent hold on U.S. funding unless the WHO made significant changes.
While Fauci did not specifically address Trump’s concerns during the latest WHO meeting, he did indicate that the U.S. planned on trying “to strengthen and reform the WHO,” especially improving the way it responds to global health emergencies.
Fauci also said that an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 needed to be conducted, noting that it should be “robust and clear.”
“We are committed to transparency, including those events surrounding the early days of the pandemic,” Fauci said. “It is imperative that we learn and build upon important lessons about how future pandemic events can be averted.”
Fauci also announced that the U.S. would join the COVAX initiative, an international effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries.
UNICEF USA President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis hailed the U.S. policy changes, saying America remaining committed to the WHO and joining COVAX are “important steps toward reestablishing America’s leadership in global health.”
“American inclusion in COVAX will help ensure that UNICEF and partners can equitably deliver vaccines to low-income countries,” Nyenhuis said, “and help protect children from the ravaging impacts COVID-19 has had on their health, education, and well-being.”
Author: Michael Lee
Source: Washington Examiner: Fauci announces US plans to remain in the World Health Organization