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US Must Pay WHO Over $ 200 Million In Membership Dues Trump Withheld




Newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses reporters during his first State Department briefing in Washington on January 27, 2021.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

WASHINGTON Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday the United States would pay the more than $ 200 million it owes the World Health Organization by the end of the month, a move that reaffirms the new administration’s commitment to global health.

“This is an essential step forward in meeting our financial obligations as a member of WHO and it reflects our renewed commitment to ensuring that WHO receives the support it needs.” to lead the global response to the pandemic even as we work to reform it for the future, “Blinken told the UN Security Council in a video conference.

“The United States will work with our partners around the world to expand manufacturing and distribution capacity and to increase access, including marginalized populations,” said Blinken, in his first speech since becoming the the country’s greatest diplomat.

Blinken also called on his counterparts to tackle vaccine misinformation and share any relevant information on the origins of the coronavirus with investigators.

“The ongoing expert investigation into the origins of this pandemic and the report that will be published must be independent with results based on science and fact and without interference,” Blinken said. “To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, all countries must make available all the data from the first days of the epidemic,” he added.

Blinken’s remarks come as President Joe Biden works to tackle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 2.4 million lives worldwide and infected more than 109.6 million, according to figures compiled by the ‘Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, the coronavirus has infected more than 27.7 million people and killed at least 488,295 people.

In one of his first acts as president, Biden overturned former President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Geneva-based United Nations health organization.

In April, Trump said he had suspended US funding for the organization pending review, citing what he called “the role of the World Health Organization in serious mismanagement and covering the spread of the coronavirus “.

A month later, he announced his intention to pull the United States out of the organization amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing what he called the WHO’s embezzlement and its warm relationship with China. .

“China has full control over the World Health Organization, although it pays only $ 40 million per year compared to what the United States pays, or about $ 450 million per year,” Trump said.

In July, the Trump administration submitted to the UN Secretary-General its notice to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization by July 6, 2021.

In October, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hoped the United States would reconsider its decision to leave the WHO, adding that the coronavirus could not be defeated “in a divided world” .

“The problem isn’t about the money. It’s not the funding that’s the problem. It’s actually the relationship with the United States that is most important and its leadership overseas.” , Ghebreyesus told a virtual hearing at the Aspen Security Forum.

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