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WHO will remain unaffected whether U.S. in or out

(People's Daily Online)    09:10, May 21, 2020

Just like the sea is always there however violently the wind and rain rage, the World Health Organization (WHO) will remain there, standing unaffectedly together with people’s support, no matter the U.S. exits from the organization or not.

On May 18, U.S. President Donald Trump posted on Twitter a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in which Trump “informed” Ghebreyesus that if the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, he will make his temporary freeze of U.S. funding to the WHO permanent and reconsider the U.S.’ membership in the organization.

As this is not the first time Trump has threatened to cut funding to the WHO, it can only be predicted that he will continue with such threats if the attempt fails this time.

Given the number of times the country has withdrawn from international organizations and agreements since Trump assumed his post as the U.S. president, it won’t be too surprising for the world if the U.S. actually pulls out of the WHO.

No matter how “great” it is, the U.S. cannot represent the entire world.

At the 73rd World Health Assembly held via video link on Monday, heads of state of many countries in the world, including China, Switzerland, France and Germany, voiced support for the WHO and efforts to enhance coordination and cooperation in the international community to fight the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is known by all that the WHO has not only promoted international cooperation in fighting COVID-19 around the globe, but also helped various countries treat patients and save lives with professional expertise.

Any leader with sense and a conscience should understand clearly that this is not a time to threaten to halt funding to the WHO, but to intensify efforts to cooperate with the organization.

At present, when the number of COVID cases in the U.S. has exceeded 1.5 million and more than 90,000 people in the country have died of the disease, is there anything more important for the country than fighting the pandemic and saving lives through cooperation?

Sadly, it seems that certain U.S. politicians think their political interests are more important than the lives of others.

The world sees no sense or reason but only willfulness, selfishness, and arrogance in U.S. politicians’ threatening to halt funding to the WHO and quit the organization.

Just like Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference held Tuesday, “it is a due obligation for the U.S., as a WHO member, to pay assessed contributions timely and in full. This is non-negotiable. The U.S. arbitrary suspension of funds and contributions to an international organization is a unilateral act that violates its international obligation.”

If they were responsible enough, these politicians in the U.S. would support the WHO and increase funding and political support for the organization without hesitation, so as to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of global resources.

The threats made by U.S. politicians against the WHO look more like attempts to make a scene and act out after their private interests were not satisfied.

While the WHO is neither an exclusive organization of the U.S. nor the back door for U.S. politicians, their embarrassment would follow if they were to act with animosity after their attempts fail.

Supported with facts, U.S. politicians will not get what they wish for in their threats to halting funding and withdraw from international organizations. These arbitrary acts will only inflict suffering on the people in the U.S.

At this critical moment when the world is confronted with one of the worst public health crises, anyone who sabotages solidarity is the enemy of the international community, and anyone who harms the WHO is running counter to the common interests of mankind.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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