Tag Archives: WHO

Return to WHO

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

When the coronavirus pandemic was picking up a head of deadly steam, Donald J. Trump became so angry with the World Health Organization that he — get this — pulled the United States out of the organization.

He blamed the WHO for covering up China’s alleged secrecy surrounding the cases that were spreading around the world. So, rather than keeping the country involved with the health organization, he pulled us out.

That’ll show ’em, he said.

Donald Trump is now on his way out of office and his successor, President-elect Joe Biden, is planning to sign a series of executive orders as soon as he takes the oath of office. One of them will return the United States to the WHO, enabling us to rely once again on the medical expertise that WHO’s infectious disease doctors can provide.

To be clear on one point, WHO membership doesn’t guarantee success in the fight against the pandemic. Taiwan, for instance, is not a member of WHO. Why? The People’s Republic of China bans Taiwan’s membership because the PRC considers Taiwan to be a renegade province of China. Taiwan, meanwhile, has done very well in stemming the infection and death rate, even without WHO assistance.

The United States hasn’t had that kind of success. Our death rates continue at a distressing rate. Too many Americans are dying daily. Donald Trump’s response has been feckless and futile.

Joe Biden intends to return this country to the community of nations that rely on our expertise. Indeed, we also can rely on the expertise of other nations to battle a killer virus.

WHO membership during these perilous times isn’t necessarily vital. However, it is important.

WHO did what?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have lamented how social media can corrupt our thinking while dictating the course of public debate.

Then again, it provides a laugh … even at issues that aren’t haw-haw funny. Such as this Twitter item that found its way onto my Facebook feed today.

Donald Trump got angry with the World Health Organization because it supposedly gave the COVID/coronavirus pandemic the short shrift. He wants to pull the United States out of the WHO.

But wait! Now we hear from none other than the iconic journalist Bob Woodward that Donald Trump did the very same thing. Wow, man! Who knew?

We have Trump’s voice recorded forever telling Woodward that the president didn’t want to “panic” Americans. So he lied to us. He told us the pandemic was like the flu. He said the nation’s doctors had it all “under control” and that the coronavirus would disappear … like a miracle!

That’s what Trump said. Woodward’s got it on audio recording.

So, does this mean Trump will set aside his anger with WHO, return the nation he governs to the health agency and rejoin the international fight to find a vaccine for the killer virus?

No. It doesn’t mean that at all.  Because Donald Trump doesn’t acknowledge when he’s wrong. He doesn’t admit to being a fallible human being.

The Donald’s only instinct is to lie. Then he expects us to believe the lies he blurts out.

Drop out of WHO? In the midst of a global pandemic?

Let me see if I have this straight.

Donald Trump has decided to initiate the withdrawal from the World Health Organization in the midst of a global pandemic that is killing thousands of human beings every hour.

He’s mad at WHO because of its initial response to the pandemic, which Trump says began in China and which the WHO was too slow to call the People’s Republic of China to task for withholding valuable information from the worldwide public.

Instead of staying with the WHO where the United States could bring its influence to bear to enact reform and, by the way, reap the benefit of WHO’s medical expertise, Donald Trump wants to pull the United States out of the organization altogether.

I do not get the “logic” here.

I now am willing to suggest — which I shall do at this very moment — that we have yet another reason to elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. as our next president.

You see, Joe Biden can stop this continuing self-isolation by Donald Trump that puts even more Americans in jeopardy if we no longer can can rely on the World Health Organization for expertise on how to deal with — and eradicate — this killer virus.

This isn’t ‘success’ in COVID fight

Donald Trump keeps yapping about the “fantastic” job he and his administration have done and are doing to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Hmm. I looked at some numbers compiled by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of this very day:

  • The world has logged 7.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. The United States reports 2.04 cases. The United States comprises about 5 percent of the world population, but we have reported nearly 30 percent of the world total of infection.
  • Earth reports 413,854 deaths from the killer virus. The U.S. total is 114,452. That’s 27 percent of the world total, again in a country that comprises about 5 percent of the world population.

That’s success? That is a “fantastic” job?

No. Neither is true. What is true is that Donald Trump’s pledge to protect Americans against all our adversaries, even those we cannot see, has gone unfulfilled.

Yet the Imbecile in Chief keeps insisting he is doing so well that we simply must send him back to the presidency for another four years.

Aye, caramba! Perish the thought.

Those numbers all by themselves tell me he is failing the fundamental test of presidential leadership. I will concede there might be a discrepancy in the reporting of illness in some of places on Earth. Indeed, I am willing to argue that even in the United States — the most advanced nation on the planet — infection and death rates likely are underreported, too.

We are failing — not succeeding — in the fight against COVID-19.

WHO gets cut off

This decision makes about as little sense as Donald Trump declaring that the coronavirus pandemic is “under control.”

Trump has terminated this nation’s relationship with the World Health Organization. Think of this for a moment.

The planet is locked in a struggle against a killer viral infection. WHO stands as a worldwide clearinghouse for valuable medical information and assistance to nations seeking help in fighting diseases just like COVID-19.

What does Trump do? He cuts off WHO. He said this week he intends to spend the estimated $450 million annually we spend on WHO on other health-related organizations. Which ones? Which of them will get the money? What will they do with it?

Trump is angry with WHO because the United Nations-sponsored agency covered up — he says — for China when the pandemic first broke. He’s angry with China … after giving China credit for its alleged “transparency” in fighting the disease. He’s always been angry with the U.N., preferring to rely on that idiotic “America first” pledge he made while running for president in 2016.

I need to point out how Trump has farmed out so much of his private business employment to non-Americans, but I digress.

Now the WHO is seeking to fight the pandemic without the financial support of the nation that (a) provides more money by far than any other nation to the agency and (b) has recorded more infections and death — also by far — than any other nation on Earth.

Does that make sense? I didn’t think so.

WHO gets the shaft

Let me see if I can follow this matter that so far more or less escapes me.

The world is locked in a deadly pandemic brought to us by the coronavirus. It has killed 93,000 Americans — and counting. The United States is trying to corral the viral infection, with little success.

Other nations are suffering grievously as well.

So what does Donald John Trump threaten to do? He said he might pull all U.S. funding resources from the World Health Organization, the United Nations-sponsored health agency that many nations rely on to provide medical expertise that it brings to bear … particularly in times such as this!

Trump is angry at WHO because he alleges the agency has been too friendly with China, where Trump keeps saying is the source of the coronavirus. WHO did nothing, he says, to help stem the tide of the infection.

So he wants to punish WHO by pulling all U.S. money from its coffers. It’s a huge hit that Trump wants to deliver to WHO.

I am one American who believes that the World Health Organization’s role is invaluable. The docs and other scientists who work for WHO provide plenty of expertise, guidance and counsel for the rest of the world to heed.

It also provides all manner of research for possible cures for diseases such as the one that’s killing Americans and other human beings every hour of every day.

So … with a pandemic still raging, the president of the United States wants to strip WHO clean? Idiotic.

Pelosi puts it out there: Trump shows weakness

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is giving Donald Trump a taste of what he has dished out to her, meaning that she has declared that the president is exhibiting signs of weakness and not strength while floundering in his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelosi has delivered a blistering critique of Trump in a letter to her Democratic House colleagues. She says Americans should ignore Trump and listen exclusively to the learned scientists and physicians who have the knowledge and expertise to explain the pandemic to a worried public.

Pelosi wrote: The truth is, from this moment on, Americans must ignore lies and start to listen to scientists and other respected professionals in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

I will quibble with one point: The time to ignore the “lies” began long before “this moment.” Still, the speaker is spot on in her assessment of Trump’s inability or unwillingness to lead a nation in distress.

She said that Trump continues to “obfuscate” and lies openly when he says the United States is testing more than any other nation on Earth for the COVID-19 virus; the truth is that we’re testing only a tiny fraction of Americans.

Trump would have us believe the response has gone swimmingly. The reality is that our hospital workers are drowning under the weight of the pressure they are feeling, as are ambulance crews, police officers, firefighters, nursing home employees, grocery store clerks, truck drivers …  you name it. Yet they’re all answering the call with true heroism.

Trump has dished out a boatload of insults at Pelosi stemming from the House impeachment effort earlier this year. The speaker is now giving some of it back.

I believe the speaker when she says she prays for Trump. I will join her in praying for the president and I’ll save a healthy dose of good will and prayer for the speaker as well.

Trump takes it out on WHO at worst possible moment

Donald Trump is so darn angry with the World Health Organization that he’s decided to pull back a huge amount of U.S. money … while WHO is trying to fight off the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Is it me or does the timing of this bit of presidential pique seem cruel and dangerous?

Trump announced his decision to withhold money for WHO this week because of what he says is a mishandling of the pandemic when it began to alarm the world. He has accused WHO of being too “China centric,” even though the pandemic has its origins in China.

Meanwhile, the United Nations-based WHO is trying to gather data, trying to coordinate the international response to this pandemic, but now it must do so without a large chunk of money on which it relies to pay for its myriad functions. The United States kicks in about $400 million annually to WHO.

This is an international emergency. If there was a time for WHO to be fully funded and able to do its job, now is the time. However, we now hear from Donald Trump that he is turning off that financial spigot just as WHO needs all the support it can get.

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who contributes huge sums from his enormous fortune to fight infectious disease, calls Trump’s decision “as dangerous as it gets.” Other medical officials also are worried that Trump has acted hastily.

My own view is that a suspension of money from the United States to WHO could have come after the pandemic had been brought under control. Then we could have established a firm after-action examination of where WHO fell short.

This isn’t the time to strip WHO of much of its ability to fight this deadly health crisis.

Local governments are taking lead on crisis management

The good news about the president’s national emergency declaration this afternoon is that states, counties and cities already are way ahead of the federal government in managing the coronavirus pandemic.

Donald Trump stood in the White House Rose Garden, bragged a bit about how well he’s done, heard slobbering praise from Mike Pence and then declared he bears “no responsibility at all” for many of the federal missteps that have occurred along the way.

Meanwhile, governors and other state and local officials are making their own declarations and announcing plans on how they intend to deal with the crisis.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was one of the governors who today announced a disaster declaration in Texas. He has mobilized local authorities and has made some key executive decisions. Gov. Abbott sounded like someone in charge. The president? Well, not so much.

Counties, too, have taken action. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has ordered a ban on all activities that attract crowds of 250 people or more.

The crisis has been real since it broke some weeks ago. The president has sought to downplay what the World Health Organization has labeled a pandemic, which means it’s bad and likely to get worse.

So, with that I’ll listen more intently to messages coming from City Hall, from the county courthouse and from the State Capitol before I heed the words spewing from the White House.

Hey, I mean no disrespect. I just need guidance and steady counsel … neither of which is coming from the office of the president of the United States.

Let’s stop arguing over which ailment is deadlier; it’s Covid-19

I heard him say it with my own two ears, both of which are in good working order.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the world’s leading epidemiologist, told Congress this week that the Covid-19 strain of the coronavirus that the World Health Organization has labeled a pandemic is about 10 times more lethal than influenza.

He said the mortality rate from the flu is less than half of 1 percent; the death rate from Covid-19 is about 3.5 percent.

There. Is that clear? It is to me.

Yet we hear some politicians and other doubters fall back on the raw numbers, the gross number of cases as a defense of their downplaying of the threat that Covid-19 poses to the public. Donald Trump, for one, keeps saying the flu kills more people annually than coronavirus. Yes, that is true. It’s also irrelevant.

Dr. Fauci tells us the pandemic we’re experience is going to worsen before it improves. It could worsen by a lot. Meaning that a lot more human beings are going to succumb to this illness. What’s more, they will do so more frequently than they fall victim to the flu.

I am weary of the argument. Anthony Fauci settled it for me.

Covid-19 presents the type of existential threat to our very lives than the flu ever has done.

Period. Now, let’s get to work trying to control this frightening disease.