Global Health Council released the following statement in response to the recent news that the Trump Administration has begun the process to officially terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization.

Washington, D.C. (July 7, 2020) – Global Health Council opposes the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO). The United States stands to lose key influence within the organization and forfeits global credibility by formally withdrawing its membership. “Thousands of people have spoken, from health experts to heads of state and heroes on the frontlines: the world needs WHO,” says Loyce Pace, President and Executive Director. Congress must take immediate bipartisan action to protect millions of lives and maintain U.S. leadership in global health. They must also consider the full scope of all that we stand to lose as a nation and global community by walking away.

A U.S withdrawal from WHO will have devastating effects on global health initiatives to combat infectious diseases. We likely will see a surge in polio cases in countries where we previously have beaten back that disease. With U.S. withdrawal, we also lose access to shared data and innovations that advance critical vaccines and technologies, putting Americans at risk for future outbreaks. “This move signals a dangerous gamble in the midst of a pandemic we have yet to conquer, and without a viable alternative to WHO,” says Pace.

Without WHO’s reach and global coordinating network, the United States does not have the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging health threats in a consistent and effective way. WHO also directly supports a number of low-income countries and fragile states around the world in their pandemic response. America’s departure will limit global access to essential guidance, supplies, and treatments or vaccines, which only stands to tie our hands when it comes to the current or any other public health emergency. It is careless and irresponsible.

Global Health Council calls upon the United States Congress to investigate the effects of this hasty and imprudent decision, and mitigate its impact. The world needs a strong, efficient, and effective WHO. Neither the U.S. nor any country can go it alone.

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About Global Health Council

Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at www.globalhealth.org. Global Health Council published “A Guide to U.S. Investments in Global Health: Transforming Communities Worldwide,” comprehensive consensus recommendations available at www.ghbb.globalhealth.org

Media Contact

Heyab Ogbasion, Manager, External Engagement: communications@globalhealth.org 

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