American senior officials are not in the mood to take no for an answer when it comes to Trump administration warning of no contact with the world’s topmost health organization. Trump has been systematically cutting ties with the WHO since July 2020 on the pretext that WHO could not handle the coronavirus pandemic and was somewhere favoring China over everyone else.
However, American officials are of the opinion that some kind of American representation is important with the WHO. For this, officials would want to continue to work alongside the WHO on health schemes that tackle polio, HIV, and other infectious diseases.
State Department is known to have undercut this move by warning any formal contact with WHO officials, even though the US will continue to remain a member of the WHO till the summer of 2021. Further, officials have to seek prior permission before indulging in any talks or discussions, the participation of any kind of programs initiated by the WHO.
The US is one of the largest funders for the WHO and its backing out does pose financial constraints for the UN-led World Health Organisation.
The US policy has sought help from the WHO on tackling the management of the spread of many deadly diseases across the US border. So it seems, the Trump administration may not be seeing this straight in the light of the fact that indeed America needs support from this UN-led organization. Additionally, earlier this month, American allies Germany and France have already rebuffed a request from U.S. Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir to endorse a U.S.-drafted road map for WHO reform, preferring to develop their own initiative.
Through its draft roadmap, the US was pushing for countries to be held accountable for not disclosing the outbreak of any kind of pathogen in its knowledge on an immediate basis, apart from suggesting other amendments.
While a cable has been sent off to all diplomatic and consular posts abroad to curb their movement, it does seem to leave a lot of room for exemptions.
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