Trump threatened to defund WHO. That could leave another global initiative under China’s influence.
Over the past week President Trump has repeatedly rebuked the World Health Organization, arguing that “they missed the call” on the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Trump announced the U.S. would halt funding for the global health organization, pending a review of WHO’s pandemic response. This follows a report in Monday’s Washington Post that U.S. officials are “expected to recommend … how to dock or condition payments to the agency as Republicans in Congress seek documentation of WHO dealings with China.” Various points of contention include the relative size of U.S. contributions to the organization and an alleged pro-China bias.International organizations like the WHO are not a sideshow to power politics — they are a crucial arena of struggle. The United States has already experienced costs from backing away from the United Nations, where China and other powers have happily stepped into the void. Now the United States may isolate itself from the preeminent institution of global health governance. Here are the implications.The United States shaped world politics by shaping how countries cooperateGlobal health coordination is one form of an international public good — something that benefits all countries, when it works well, and from which no country can be