By World Healthcare Journal-
At a daily press briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus became clearly emotional after addressing the withdrawal of the US from WHO.
The decision for the US to pull all funding and withdraw formally from the global health organisation shocked many, but perhaps nobody was more dismayed at the move than Dr Tedros himself, who fought back tears as he spoke about the events.
“This is a tragedy... that actually is forcing us to miss many of our friends, losing many lives… and we cannot defeat this pandemic as a divided world,” Dr Tedros said, as he began to well up.
“The virus thrives on division but is thwarted when we unite. How is it difficult for humans to unite to fight a common enemy, that is killing people indiscriminately?
“Can’t we understand that the divisions or the cracks between us actually are the advantage for the virus? ” he said, appearing to wipe a tear from his cheek.
The WHO came under fire from the US in May, when President Donald Trump criticised the organisation as having a “pro-China” bias, announcing that he would be terminating the US relationship with the WHO. He accused China of having “mislead the world” about the severity of the coronavirus, despite providing no evidence to prove his statements.
As of Tuesday, the Trump Administration began the procedure of formally withdrawing from the WHO, a move which would invariably be counter-productive to President Trump’s allegations.
However, the US is obliged to give the WHO a notice of one year before withdrawing, placing the realistic time frame of withdrawal well into 2021.
“Abandoning our seat at the table leaves the US out of global decision making to combat the virus and global efforts to develop and access vaccines and therapeutics, leaving us more vulnerable to Covid-19 whilst diminishing our position as the leader in global health,” Thomas M. File, Jr. President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America said in a statement.
“To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice,” Bob Menendez, US Senator for New Jersey said on Twitter.
“This won't protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone. ”
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