The story appears on

Page A7

May 22, 2020

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Opinion

Washington’s WHO bullying bound to boomerang

Washington’s recent bullying of the World Health Organization amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic goes against the will of the international community and will ultimately hurt the United States itself.

In an open letter sent to WHO on Monday, Washington accused WHO of “not serving America’s interests” and threatened to permanently freeze funding to the world health body and withdraw from the body if it does not commit to substantive changes within 30 days.

The letter is a message of disinformation. It attempts to mislead the public with inaccuracies and vague expressions, and smear the efforts of China, the WHO as well as the wider international community in their joint fight against the coronavirus.

The Lancet, a well-known medical journal that is cited in the letter, came out publically against one of the factual mistakes in the White House message and reminded Washington that “it is essential that any review of the global response is based on a factually accurate account of what took place in December and January.”

And for the record, China informed the international community, including the United States, of the outbreak at the earliest possible date. In January, the US president openly appreciated China’s “efforts and transparency” on containing the coronavirus. All of a sudden, Washington’s memory appears foggy.

The letter also reveals Washington’s bullying mindset and its callous disregard to the cause of global public health.

The threat to freeze WHO funding has already triggered strong opposition from the international community, including US allies in Europe.

The European Union has vowed to support “international cooperation and multilateral solutions in this crisis — in the pandemic crisis.”

As the current global fight against COVID-19 enters a critical stage, supporting the WHO means safeguarding multilateralism, encouraging international pandemic cooperation and, most importantly, saving lives.

Another scheme behind this presidential letter is to evade responsibility.

Shifting blame

The amount and criteria for a WHO member state are jointly determined by all members, not the United States alone. A timely and full payment of its dues is simply the right thing to do.

Washington’s funding freeze is a flagrant violation of its international obligations as the world’s sole superpower when the WHO needs political and financial support more than ever to mobilize global resources to win this battle against a previously unknown virus.

In fact, public information shows that the United States began to default on its WHO membership fees since last year. Back then, the disease had yet to break out. The pandemic is an excuse for Washington to escape its global responsibilities.

Ultimately, this four-page note is just another chapter in Washington’s seemingly never-ending plot to shift blame.

A raft of US media outlets like The New York Times and the Washington Post have slammed the US administration harshly on its poor handling of the outbreak inside the United States.

Former US President Barack Obama recently commented: “This pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

For America, it should, as US political scientist Joseph Nye has suggested, learn the importance of using its power with others, not just over others, in today’s increasingly interdependent world.



Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend