Voices from abroad on reckless defunding of WHO

With the US president defunding the World Health Organization at a time of great need, I think it would be good to highlight the reactions of a few leaders from around the globe and on our shores. The two articles below link to the sources of these quotes.

“President Trump’s plan to put a hold on U.S. funding for the World Health Organization during a global pandemic ‘is as dangerous as it sounds,’ says billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder joined others defending the WHO, which they say is doing vital work to fight COVID-19.”

“‘This is a terrible time to do this and is short-sighted,’ says Jennifer Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, ‘It’s destabilizing and damaging to the global enterprise that we’re all needing to be engaged in’ — in the midst of a pandemic that has so far stricken more than 2 million people and killed more than 128,000, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.’

“‘Blaming does not help. The virus knows no borders,’ German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said of Trump’s plan via Twitter. He added that even without any U.S. cuts, the WHO is already underfunded.”

“Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, denounced Trump’s decision, saying there is ‘no reason justifying this move at a moment when their efforts are needed more than ever.’”

“The President of the American Medical Association, Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, called it ‘a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world.’”

“Noted UK biologist Richard Dawkins called it ‘another example of ‘America First and to hell with the world as a whole.’”

In addition to these quotes, several Prime Ministers have condemned this action by the US president. Conservative Australian PM Scott Morrison noted while the WHO is deserving of some criticism, they play an important role and serve a greater good. Other leaders were less even handed in their remarks.

It continually frustrates me to see a US president seek to look for scapegoats to avoid scrutiny of his own poor decision-making. For a person so consumed with his perception as a leader, when the time presented itself in January or even in February for the president to forewarn Americans that the Coronavirus is a pandemic we need to be planning ahead for, he whiffed at the ball on the tee.

Instead, he reverted to form and lied, downplaying the risk and blaming Democrats for a hoax. Sadly, more Americans got sick and died because of this delay. Even today, the president is not a good source of information as he has a tendency to revert to his “narcissistic and neurotic self” so says Conservative pundit David Brooks.

https://www.wamc.org/post/dangerous-it-sounds-reactions-us-plan-defund-who-during-pandemic

‘America first and to hell with the world as a whole’: Global leaders and experts denounce Trump for defunding WHO

15 thoughts on “Voices from abroad on reckless defunding of WHO

  1. Note to Readers: It should be noted Bill Gates committed to donating $150 million to the WHO from his Foundation today due to the Trump announcement. Gates showed what leadership looks like.

    • Marilyn, that is so true. His mentor, the infamous attorney, Roy Cohn who advised Sen. Joseph McCarthy, taught him two things – never apologize and sue everyone. Trump lives that mantra to this day. Keith

    • Roger, the cognitive dissonance of his followers is so well protected by a hard shell of control by the president, when disharmony does works its way in, they have too many to tell them not to believe that fake news. I go back to Occam’s Razor. Is it easier to believe that a person who is known for being untruthful his entire life is lying or that everyone else is lying about him? Occam’s Razor would correctly point us at the former. Keith

      • The Games Workshop’s extraordinarily Warhammer / Warhammer 40,000 AD fantasy/SF games have many races and protagonists.
        One set is the gods of choas, who came into being through the gestalt activities and excesses of the Human Race, who in turn worship said gods.
        You can see how the sceanrio compares with Trump’s status.

      • Roger, early on after the disastrous (a real description) of the Trump first travel ban that was pulled on the third day, conservative pundit David Brooks described the Trump White House as “equal parts chaos and incompetence.” To be frank, I am not surprised by the lying, bullying or corruption by Trump. What has surprised is the chaos and incompetence. So, yes he could be the God of Chaos. But, he could be the God of Incompetence as well.

        People may ask why use the word incompetence? The travel ban is as good (or bad as the case may be) exemplar as any. He made a decision without telling anyone beforehand – not Congress, not other department heads, not airlines or airports and not even TSA who had to implement it. It was not vetted or communicated or planned. It was a Yul Brynner in the Ten Commandments saying “let it be written, let it be done.” Keith

  2. Note to Readers II: Per the linked article below, the opening paragraph says:

    “More countries worldwide have regretted U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), voicing support for and highlighting the organization’s crucial role in guiding global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.”

    https://today.line.me/hk/pc/article/International+community+on+Trump+defunding+WHO+Time+for+more+int+l+cooperation+and+solidarity+not+less-z1xzy6

  3. This man is the most unreasonable and irresponsible person for his kind of job. I am out of words to describe how stupid his action simply is. In the end, again, he only works against the country he is supposed to lead.

      • You are right, Keith. We are out of words to express how ridiculous this whole thing appears. A very bizarre reality! I hope from my heart, that Obama’s support pays off!

      • Erika, just when you think you have seen it all, he goes even lower. It is like a limbo bar of incompetence. Please refer to my latest response to our British friend Roger herein. I use the Trump travel ban fiasco as an exemplar. Keith

  4. Trump wants his “America First” policy, and he may well get it … to an extent he never imagined … as the U.S. becomes a global pariah, ostracized and ignored by all. I agree with Richard Dawkins’ comment. Thumbs up to Bill & Melinda Gates … at least a few wealthy people have consciences.

    • Jill, true about the pariah. The Gates do their homework and donate wisely. On the flip side, the president does not do homework and his foundation was found guilty of self-dealing and ordered to dissolve. That is a very underreported story. Keith

  5. Note to Readers: I just posted this on our friend Jill’s blog this morning. Here is a reprise.

    Social media is reacting to the “One World: Together at Home” show last night. This is what collaboration looks like. Many touching moments were included, but seeing First Ladies’ Barbara Bush and Michelle Obama together to voice these messages was impactful. Social media was not kind to the American president.

    Today, I read another letter to the editor from a Trump supporter saying we should honor the elected president and do what he says. My initial reaction is I honor the president position. When the incumbent honors the position, I will also honor him or her. The other thing it is hard to do what he says, when he changes his mind within the hour or next day based on what smells right to him.

    When the president had a chance to show leadership in January and February forewarning Americans about the pandemic risk and initiating planning activities, he reverted to form and lied. This is not an anomaly. Leadership is not second nature to Donald J. Trump. Lying is second nature.

    He so badly wants to be viewed as a leader, but for some reason the thought of being a leader just does not register. Keith

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