(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement after the Trump Administration sent a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) announcing that the U.S. is withdrawing from the organization which is spearheading the global fight against COVID-19.
“This is an abdication of America’s role as a global leader and it is the opposite of putting America first—it will put America at risk. Refusing to work with our partners across the world to fight this pandemic will only prolong the crisis, further undermine our international standing, and leave us less prepared for future crises. President Trump needs to realize this crisis doesn’t recognize borders and hiding from it or passing the blame won’t make it go away or make him any less responsible.”
The move by the Trump Administration to withdraw from WHO not only undermines the global fight against COVID-19—including efforts to develop safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines—but could delay or devastate critical global health initiatives like polio eradication, measles immunization campaigns, the global malaria program, and efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, and threatens the world’s infectious disease early warning system—which allows countries to stop disease outbreaks at their source before they spread farther and become deadlier and more expensive to contain.