LWV joined public health advocacy groups in a letter expressing grave concern regarding the United States Government’s decision to terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization (W.H.O). The letter discusses the critical role the organization plays in facilitating global health norms and activities. Additionally, right now it is a critical resource in the global response in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and we must do our part to collaborate and support the global health community.
We, the undersigned organizations, note with grave concern the United States Government’s decision to terminate relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the midst of a global pandemic.
WHO is the only organization with the global mandate to coordinate the public health response to COVID-19 during this perilous time.
WHO plays a vital role in supporting countries to protect their citizens from public health threats, through coordination, developing vaccines, treatments and tests, training of health workers, and securing critical supplies particularly in humanitarian settings. This is as true for the current COVID-19 pandemic as it is for the many other health issues which continue to affect people throughout the world.
Challenging WHO’s mandate in these difficult times will cost lives. The current pandemic affects every one of us and does not respect borders. No one is safe until everyone is safe. The only way to end the pandemic is to bring us closer together.
At this critical moment in the global response, we call for collaboration, constructive criticism and redoubling our efforts to fight this disease. We welcome Resolution WHA73.1 from the recent World Health Assembly, and in particular the call for an impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation of WHO’s response to COVID-19. Equally, we encourage all governments to evaluate their national responses to the epidemic.
Amidst the horror that the pandemic brings is a chance, through partnership and multilateralism, to create a world that is better than the one we had before; a world more equitable and able to serve the health needs of all people.
In September 2019, at the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, world leaders endorsed the most ambitious and comprehensive political declaration on health in history and committed to providing the opportunity for health to every person by 2030. It is now time that those world leaders back up their words with meaningful action.
See attached for full list of signers