World

Anthony Fauci announces Joe Biden’s support for WHO after Trump criticism


Mr. Fauci said the U.S. will join the UN health agency’s efforts to bring vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to people in need, whether in rich or poor countries.

President Joe Biden’s top medical advisor on coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Thursday announced renewed U.S. support for the World Health Organization after it faced blistering criticism from the Trump administration, laying out new commitments to tackle the coronavirus and other global health issues.

Mr. Fauci, speaking by video-conference from pre-dawn United States to WHO’s executive board, said the U.S. will join the UN health agency’s efforts to bring vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to people in need, whether in rich or poor countries. He said the U.S. will also resume full funding and staffing support for WHO.

Mr. Fauci’s quick commitment to WHO – whose response to the coronavirus outbreak was repeatedly berated by the Trump administration – marks a dramatic and vocal shift toward a multilateral approach to fighting the pandemic.

“I am honoured to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organisation,” Mr. Fauci said.

Just hours after Mr. Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, his administration announced the U.S. will revoke a planned pullout from the WHO in July that had been announced by the Trump administration.

Mr. Fauci said the Biden administration “will cease the drawdown of U.S. staff seconded to the WHO” and resume “regular engagement” with WHO. “The United States also intends to fulfil its financial obligations to the organisation,” he added.

He referred to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, as “my dear friend.” Other countries and the WHO chief jumped in to welcome the U.S. announcements, and pledged to work with the Biden administration.

“This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health,” Tedros said, referring to “my brother Tony” in reference to Mr. Fauci, while congratulating Mr. Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. “The role of the United States, its role, global role is very, very crucial.”

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