As America Engages With WHO Again, An Overwhelming Sense Of Relief And Hope

January 20, 2021

*This article originally appeared in Forbes.

In an Executive Order signed on 20th January, on the day of the Presidential Inauguration, President Biden has taken steps for the United States to “engage with and strengthen the World Health Organization (WHO)” and pledged to provide US leadership on global health and security. In a letter, sent on the same day, to His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, President Biden wrote:

“This letter constitutes a retraction by the Government of the United States of the letter dated July 6, 2020, notifying you that the Government of the United States intended to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO), effective July 6, 2021. The United States intends to remain a member of the World Health Organization. The WHO plays a crucial role in the world’s fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as well as countless other threats to global health and health security. The United States will continue to be a full participant and a global leader in confronting such threats and advancing global health and health security.”

US experts I spoke to were elated and relieved at this announcement, since it is incredibly important for the US (which is really struggling with their pandemic response, having just crossed 400,000 deaths from Covid-19), the WHO (which has also had a hard time during this crisis), and for the entire field of global health.

It’s been an exhausting year for us, made even more challenging by all the fights for equity and solidarity around Covid-19. We’re hardly at the end of this road but coming back to the table globally at WHO and elsewhere is a heartening mile marker. Now the work begins

 Loyce Pace, President of Global Health Council, and member of the Biden Covid-19 task force

Read the full article here.