WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 01st July, 2020) Former US Vice President Joe Biden pledged that one of his first actions if elected president will be to restore the United States‘ relationship with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and take a leading role in a global response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We have to immediately restore our relationship with the World Health Organization. For all its shortcomings and missteps around COVID-19, this is why WHO was created. It is essential to coordinating a global response during a pandemic and the United States should be leading that response as we have in the past,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday.
In May, President Donald Trump announced the United States would halt its funding of the WHO – previously about $400 million annually – and pull out of the agency. Later, the president backed down, saying the United States would match China‘s contribution, about 10 percent of the US total.
Trump’s move reflected anger at WHO missteps as the pandemic emerged early in the year, when the UN agency parroted Chinese claims at the time that the virus was not easily spread between humans and that the disease could be easily contained.
With the WHO largely sidelined from Trump administration’s efforts to combat the pandemic, the United States now leads the world in novel coronavirus infections with more than a quarter of the more than 10 million cases reported globally, according data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Trump claims that China‘s influence in the WHO allowed the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan to morph into a global pandemic when the disease should have been contained within China.