U.S. will pay WHO more than $200 million in membership fees withheld by Trump

Newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses reporters throughout his first press briefing on the State Department in Washington, January 27, 2021.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Wednesday that the United States will pay the more than $200 million it owes to the World Health Organization by the top of the month, a transfer that reaffirms the brand new administration’s dedication to world well being.

“This is a key step forward in fulfilling our financial obligations as a WHO member and it reflects our renewed commitment to ensuring the WHO has the support it needs to lead the global response to the pandemic even as we work to reform it for the future,” Blinken informed the U.N. Security Council.

“The United States will work with our partners across the globe to expand manufacturing and distribution capacity and to increase access, including marginalized populations,” Blinken mentioned in his first speech since changing into the nation’s prime diplomat.

Blinken additionally referred to as for his counterparts to fight misinformation on vaccines and to share any related data on the origins of the coronavirus to investigators.

“The ongoing expert investigation about the origins of this pandemic and the report that will be issued must be independent with findings based on science and facts and free from interference,” Blinken mentioned. “To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, all countries must make available all data from the earliest days of the outbreak,” he added.

Blinken’s remarks come as President Joe Biden works to deal with the unfolding coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 2.4 million lives all over the world and contaminated more than 109.6 million, in line with figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, the coronavirus has contaminated more than 27.7 million folks and killed no less than 488,295 folks.

In one in all his first acts a president, Biden rescinded former President Donald Trump’s determination to withdraw from the Geneva-based physique.

In April, Trump mentioned he suspended U.S. funding to the group pending a overview, citing what he referred to as “the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

A month later, he introduced his intentions to depart the group amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing what he referred to as the WHO’s misuse of funding and its cozy relationship with China.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization, despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump defined throughout remarks in the Rose Garden.

In July, the Trump administration submitted to the U.N. secretary-general its discover to withdraw from the World Health Organization by July 6, 2021. The discover to the United Nations was step one in a year-long course of that will depend on a number of elements exterior of Trump’s management, together with cooperation from Congress and the president’s personal reelection in November, neither of that are assured.

In October, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned he hopes the United States will rethink its determination to depart the United Nations’ well being group, including that the coronavirus cannot be defeated “in a divided world.” 

“The problem is not about the money. It’s not the financing that’s the issue. It’s actually the relationship with the U.S. that’s more important and its leadership abroad,” Ghebreyesus informed a digital viewers on the Aspen Security Forum. 

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