WHO Director: U.S. Ignoring Global Health

An employee with the Sao Paulo state government works near a screen showing a World Health Organization dashboard on the coronavirus outbreak around the world on June 23. (Reuters photo)

The Washington Post

Opinion by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

July 1, 2020

I’m director-general of the WHO. The U.S. is turning its back on global health.

The United States has been a vital partner to the World Health Organization since its creation in 1948. Together, we have worked to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

If the United States steps back on that essential work, we shouldn’t just think in terms of who will be hurt but also what will be lost. Why? Because the consequences affect everyone.

The covid-19 pandemic has starkly revealed how we need more international cooperation to address global health crises, not less. Not only are we far from addressing all the risks that this insidious virus presents, but the vast majority of people remain susceptible to infection.

Consider the vital role that international cooperation is already playing around the development of a covid-19 vaccine. This began almost as soon as the coronavirus’s sequence was shared online, and there are now 141 vaccines in development. Leading candidates may be only months from success. Of course, there is no guarantee of full protection, but we are hopeful.

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