Washington, DC – In response to President Trump’s announcement that the United States will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, Foreign Policy for America released the following statement:
“Today President Trump announced his decision to leave the WHO, a disastrous decision for the United States and the entire world. This is clearly yet another attempt on Trump’s part to deflect blame from himself for his months of inaction and 100,000 American deaths. There is no question that it will be counterproductive to the goal of safeguarding Americans and stopping the spread of the pandemic.
“Leaving the WHO during a pandemic is dangerously irresponsible. The coronavirus does not respect borders: if we don’t stop the pandemic everywhere, it will find its way back to us. While no one disputes that reforms to the WHO are warranted, the United States has a responsibility to stay and help make those changes. It is in the interest of the world, and every American, for all countries to work together on pandemic response through the WHO.
“This announcement came as part of a larger set of actions, ostensibly intended to confront China. But abandoning American responsibilities on the world stage will hardly improve the U.S. global position. Instead it weakens our standing in the eyes of our partner countries around the world at the same time that China steps up its international cooperation. Through these rash, petulant actions, Trump has created the space for China’s influence to grow as the rest of the world works together to fight the pandemic.
“Trump’s actions serve his own interests, creating one more distraction as our country grapples with crisis. But they do nothing for the American people. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that no one will be safe from the pandemic until everyone is safe from the pandemic. Global cooperation is required now more than ever. Instead of leadership, Trump offers circus sideshows: one more fight pitting America against the world. Today’s WHO announcement will have no effect on China, but it exposes Americans as more isolated than ever.”