Quiting WHO, Possible Only After May 2021!

Time June 15, 2020 pp10 The Brief News Good Question “What could the U.S. withdrawal actually mean for WHO?

Bottomlin, America has participated as part of WHO throughout its 72-year history and helped drive “some of the greatest public-health triumphs…”. Today the U.S. contributes 15% of the WHO budget at $893M. Beyond the basic dues, American gets to earmark where the voluntary funds are spent; $166M for Polio eradication, $121M for access to health and nutritional services, $58M for Vaccine-preventable diseases, $41M for TB, $36M for Emergency preparedness, $34M for HIV & Hepatitis, $27M for Prevention & control of outbreaks and $27M for Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.

Membership has other benefits. As an example, being part of WHO facilitated earlier access to COVID data released by China. Importantly, WHO provides American scientists and public health leaders an important channel for “global-health communication”. Amanda Glassman, EVP of the Center for Global Development, is quoted “No one’s saying that the organization is perfect, but it works as well as it could. Ultimately, the U.S. must cooperate with other nations to protect Americans against global health threats”.

While the current POTUS on May 29 “…announced he would terminate the U.S. relationship with the WHO…” the American agreement with WHO requires a one year advance notice to terminate so in reality our earliest exit would be May 29, 2021. WHO 2021 budget could suffer some shortfalls without a continued commitment by America.

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