BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on the announcement by President Donald Trump that the U.S. would withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We are in the midst of a global pandemic. Global. The United States has more cases and more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country in the world. It is beyond understanding why President Trump thinks this is the time to walk away from the World Health Organization – the only organization with the capability to work with every nation’s health experts. We may not like every step the WHO has taken during this public health crisis, bit if we refuse to work with the WHO, Americans and others will suffer deadly consequences as we tie one hand behind our back in the fight to develop treatments and a vaccine for this virus.
“In April, when the president first threatened to suspend funding for the WHO, I called that action irresponsible, irrational and simply the wrong thing to do. Completely extracting the United States from the WHO after 100,000 American deaths from this virus, takes that irresponsibility to brand new heights. Irrationally, it was only 11 days ago when the president told the WHO they had 30 days to make reforms. It is wrong to think that any single nation can fight this threat alone. As long as this infectious disease is in the world, Americans are at risk. Like every other national security threat, we must fight it in other countries as well as at home. When a vaccine is developed, the United States and other countries must work together to ensure it is available to anyone and everyone who wants it without excessive cost. The WHO is in a unique position to make that happen.
“The fight against COVID-19 will not be won by any single country. Only if the U.S. remains an active international partner, can we stop this global pandemic.”