Trump decision to leave WHO endangers global health, medical groups say

President Donald Trump announced that the United States will terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization, a move he has threatened throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: May 31, 2020 7:21 PM
Updated: May 31, 2020 7:21 PM

Groups representing infectious disease doctors, pediatricians and general physicians all protested President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization on Friday, saying it will make it harder to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

It could also endanger children, the American Academy of Pediatrics said. "The Trump Administration's decision to withdraw from the WHO carries grave risks for the world's children during an unprecedented global health crisis. The decision to withdraw risks causing a surge in polio cases and an increase in deaths of children from malaria, and it will further delay life-saving vaccination campaigns," Mark Del Monte, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement.

"Withdrawing support from the WHO not only harms the global response against COVID-19 and prevents the United States from engaging the agency to enact meaningful reforms, but undermines the response to other major health threats impacting children. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges the administration to reconsider its position and continue to work with the WHO to combat COVID-19 and promote the health of children globally."

The US has traditionally been the largest contributor to WHO, providing between $107 million to $119 million a year over the past decade, but has additionally given extra contributions of as much as $400 million a year. In April, Trump said the US would suspend financial contributions to WHO. Friday's announcement would sever all ties, ending the traditional leadership role the US has taken at WHO, the health arm of the United Nations.

Friday's decision "serves no logical purpose," American Medical Association President Dr. Patrice Harris said.

"This senseless action will have significant, harmful repercussions now and far beyond this perilous moment, particularly as the WHO is leading worldwide vaccine development and drug trials to combat the pandemic," Harris said in a statement.

"COVID-19 affects us all and does not respect borders; defeating it requires the entire world working together. In the strongest terms possible, the American Medical Association urges the President to reverse course and not abandon our country's leadership position in the global fight against COVID-19."

The former head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, weighed in, too.

"We helped create WHO. We are part of it. It is part of the world, and turning our back on WHO makes us and the world less safe," Frieden said in a statement issued by the global health organization Vital Strategies.

"Now, China and every other country in the world will have a veto at WHO, and the U.S. won't. This will make the U.S. more vulnerable," Frieden said.

"This pandemic has demonstrated that neither national boundaries nor political positions can protect us from the spread of an infectious disease," said Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) President Dr. Thomas File. "We will not succeed against this pandemic, or any future outbreak, unless we stand together, share information, and coordinate actions."

During his announcement Friday, Trump said China did not properly report information they had about the coronavirus to WHO and that China pressured the WHO to "mislead the world," as reasons for the termination.

The President previously announced a temporary halt to funding for the WHO and sent a letter to the agency in early May warning that the US would permanently pull funding if the WHO did not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 768624

Reported Deaths: 13993
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1055891807
Lake569801031
Allen43032699
St. Joseph37344568
Hamilton37335426
Elkhart29783470
Tippecanoe23503230
Vanderburgh23240405
Porter19580327
Johnson18843392
Hendricks18089323
Madison13575347
Clark13552198
Vigo12869256
LaPorte12578225
Monroe12575178
Delaware11155198
Howard10693237
Kosciusko9792124
Hancock8761150
Bartholomew8274157
Warrick8084157
Floyd8043182
Grant7378181
Wayne7239201
Boone7211105
Morgan6924143
Marshall6345117
Dubois6283118
Cass6096112
Dearborn602178
Noble600890
Henry5958111
Jackson517277
Shelby511598
Lawrence4928127
Gibson463696
Montgomery459292
DeKalb456785
Clinton456055
Harrison454077
Huntington417882
Whitley416745
Steuben411260
Miami406073
Jasper401655
Knox388691
Putnam385762
Wabash370384
Adams353856
Ripley351971
Jefferson343487
White340154
Daviess3089100
Wells304081
Greene295185
Decatur292693
Fayette286564
Posey282635
Scott281058
LaGrange277772
Clay274949
Washington254637
Randolph247783
Jennings239749
Spencer238731
Fountain235850
Starke229959
Owen222959
Sullivan221643
Fulton208945
Jay203032
Carroll197722
Orange191756
Perry189939
Vermillion181144
Rush177627
Tipton173347
Franklin172535
Parke155916
Pike142534
Blackford138032
Pulaski123748
Newton123336
Benton109715
Brown106243
Crawford105816
Martin92515
Warren87915
Switzerland8378
Union73610
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1125420

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1305631493
Cuyahoga1173952263
Hamilton825481261
Montgomery536581062
Summit489381014
Lucas43799834
Butler40064614
Stark33876939
Lorain26072510
Warren24959312
Mahoning22738613
Lake21482396
Clermont20425261
Delaware19169138
Licking16879227
Trumbull16829492
Fairfield16825207
Medina15880276
Greene15565254
Clark14366308
Portage13450218
Wood13358201
Allen12064245
Richland11748213
Miami11047228
Wayne9275228
Columbiana9216236
Muskingum9144137
Pickaway8755123
Tuscarawas8724255
Marion8716140
Erie8146166
Ashtabula7280179
Hancock7050135
Ross7031165
Geauga6975153
Scioto6726108
Belmont6224179
Lawrence5964104
Union591649
Jefferson5729162
Huron5644122
Sandusky5498130
Darke5448131
Seneca5380128
Washington5373111
Athens527260
Auglaize507787
Mercer491785
Shelby484397
Knox4621113
Madison448066
Ashland446198
Defiance439499
Fulton436875
Putnam4358104
Crawford4120111
Brown410462
Preble3956107
Logan392279
Clinton391466
Ottawa376481
Highland366668
Williams357378
Champaign349860
Guernsey331554
Jackson321954
Perry299050
Morrow294943
Fayette289350
Hardin279665
Henry277467
Coshocton273061
Holmes2726102
Van Wert252365
Gallia251150
Adams250958
Pike244837
Wyandot235557
Hocking222963
Carroll201449
Paulding180142
Meigs151540
Monroe137945
Noble137939
Harrison115438
Morgan111724
Vinton87517
Unassigned04
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