The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) yesterday expressed its indignation at the decision by US President Trump to announce the suspension of its funding of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Professor Guy Marks, President of The Union, said:
“Undermining the WHO at a time when it is courageously leading the global coordination of the COVID-19 response is appalling public health policy. Infectious respiratory diseases know no borders and now is not the time to hinder global collaboration. The main game at present is to save lives, not to put them at risk.
“De-funding the WHO will also be catastrophic for WHO’s other disease control programmes around the world. Let’s not forget that 4000 people were dying daily from tuberculosis even before the arrival of COVID-19, and more than eight million people die from tobacco related illnesses and some 41 million die of non-communicable diseases annually. Retracting support for the WHO at this critical moment will have global health consequences far beyond COVID-19.
“Now, more than ever, the world needs the United States government to be the leader it has shown itself to be over the past century. That requires collaboration with key partners like the WHO. We call on the US government to urgently reverse this reckless decision.”