Lowey Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Stop Contributions to the World Health Organization During Pandemic

September 2, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) issued the following statement after President Trump announced his plan to stop United States assessed contributions to the World Health Organization (WHO):

“President Trump’s promise of ‘America First’ has turned into ‘America Alone.’  The Trump Administration’s campaign against the WHO is just one of many examples of absurd policy cooked up to appeal to the President’s political base, shirk his responsibility, and abdicate America’s role as a global leader.

“Today’s announcement is legally dubious and drives a deeper wedge between the United States and our allies, while empowering China and Russia who readily replace our voice at the table.  During an unprecedented global health crisis that costs nearly 1,000 American lives every single day, we should be welcoming additional sources of expertise and hearing from foreign leaders, not turning them away.

“The United States and the entire world need a strong World Health Organization. While no institution is perfect, our withdrawal makes reforms we are seeking more difficult to achieve. Moreover, this decision weakens an organization that is central to global efforts to fight polio, approve new drugs and treatment regimens for global use, determine the components of annual flu vaccines, and encourage cooperation and openness from all countries regarding public health.  By stepping away from this institution, the United States undermines the health of Americans and the entire globe.

“The American people can see through such a blatant attempt to divert attention away from the President’s own failures to control the pandemic at a level comparable to most other developed countries. As the Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue fighting this reckless President’s path of isolation and global disdain, working to prioritize health and safety, the use of science and facts to inform policy, engagement with the rest of the world, and effective foreign assistance to save lives.”

###

116th Congress