Washington: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo opened Thursday to US participation in the World Health Organization ’s efforts in polio and other diseases, despite vows to freeze funding for its coronavirus response.
President Donald Trump said on April 14 that he would cut off funding to the UN agency. He accused the agency of acting too late on this pandemic and blindly adopted the word China, which was the first discovery of SARS- CoV-2 virus in China.
Pompeo said in two interviews on Thursday that the Trump administration recognizes that the World Health Organization (WHO) has dealt with a wide range of issues.
Pompeo told the conservative radio host Chris Steger: “We are trying to figure out, is there still something meaningful? In places like polio, it does a good job.”
Pompeo separately told the host Jack Heath: “Let us see if there is a part of us that should continue to participate because it does a good job in polio or other aspects.”
Even before Trump’s pledge to cut funding, health workers have warned that the coronavirus pandemic will thwart efforts to fight other diseases.
Michel Zaffran, the head of the WHO’s polio eradication program, told AFP last month that the disease could worsen again because workers were forced to suspend vaccination.
Only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where wild-type disabling diseases still exist, polio vaccine has always been an international priority.
Pompeo made this remark because lawmakers from rival Democratic Party media spoke about the details of WHO’s capital cuts, saying that the Trump administration only made points and did not specify how to cut capital.
The United States has always been the largest donor of the World Health Organization, donating more than $ 400 million annually.
Critics say Trump tried to highlight the wrongdoing of the World Health Organization to shift responsibility for handling COVID-19. The virus killed nearly 75,000 people in the United States, far more than any other country.