Lowey Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Halt Funding for the World Health Organization During Pandemic

April 14, 2020
Press Release

Lowey: “President Trump must stop his petty, counterproductive political games, both here in the United States and abroad.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump announced his plan to stop United States funding of the World Health Organization:

“UN Secretary General Guterres said it best when he said, ‘[W]e are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world.’ President Trump must stop his petty, counterproductive political games, both here in the United States and abroad. Never has the time been worse for his divisive rhetoric. Congress and the American people have shown that they can put aside preconceptions and biases to work for the common good of everyone. The coronavirus cannot just be defeated here in the United States, it has to be defeated in every conceivable location throughout the world. If we don’t eradicate it everywhere, we are still at risk here, which is why the President should not be taking valuable tools away from international health experts who are fighting a battle he largely ignored and downplayed.

“The WHO plays a unique role in terms of a global reach and has a mandate for coordinating the global response of all actors as well as serving as the primary enforcer of the International Health Regulations, which is central to tracking, isolating, and defeating a global pandemic. Any attempt by the President to force United States health experts to work without the WHO would be counterproductive and lead to more suffering in the end.

“I hope the President will see the need to use all avenues to defeat this virus. If not, Congress will ensure that the United States Government will.”

 

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