Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The Conversation logo

It wouldn’t make much sense to sack the fire service during a forest fire, yet that’s effectively what US President Donald Trump has done by suspending funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the middle of a pandemic. The WHO is by no means perfect, but undermining the world’s only global public health agency does not serve US interests.

The US is the biggest contributor to the 194-member WHO, providing around US$400 million (£322 million) annually, which makes up about a fifth of the budget. The organisation has been asked to do more with less for decades and is already in a fairly perilous financial situation.

Although the move is characteristically shortsighted, this time Trump’s decision was premeditated. On April 10, he hinted that US funding would be withdrawn, adding: “We’re looking at it very, very closely … we’ll have a lot to say about it.”

The following week he confirmed the suspension of funding and blamed the WHO for “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus”. He argued that the organisation had been too slow to investigate the outbreak and had been complicit in China’s suppression and misreporting of cases.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Luke Allen, GP Academic Clinical Fellow in Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Oxford is a subscribing member of The ConversationFind out how you can write for The Conversation.

Similar stories

Young lives under pressure as global crises hits mental health and well-being – report

The well-being and mental health of young people in low - and middle - income countries have been dramatically affected by the series of crises hitting the world. As the international community continues to struggle with the impact of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, the latest report from the Young Lives project shows a long-running upward trend in young people’s well-being has been sharply reversed alongside widespread anxiety and depression. Young people are less confident about their futures for the first time in the 20-year study.

Bacterial infections linked to one in eight global deaths, according to GRAM study

Data showing 7.7 million deaths from 33 bacterial infections can guide measures to strengthen health systems, particularly in low-income settings

New tool aims to make bowel cancer treatments more effective

The Leedham Lab in Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) has been awarded over £2M from Cancer Research UK to develop a new tool that could help guide how bowel cancer patients are treated in the future.

Doug Higgs awarded the 2023 Genetics Society Medal

The award recognises Radcliffe Department of Medicine's Professor Higgs major contribution to our understanding of how mammalian genes are switched on and off, and using haematopoiesis as a model to understand how genes function.

First evidence drug resistant bacteria can travel from gut to lung, increasing infection risks

A new Oxford University study released during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week has significant findings on how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) arises and persists. The results, published today in Nature Communications, provide the first direct evidence of AMR bacteria migrating from a patient’s gut microbiome to the lungs, increasing the risk of deadly infections.