The newly sworn-in American President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, submitted a letter renewing the United State’s commitment to funding the World Health Organisation (WHO) and honouring the country’s policies on climate change.
In a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, Mr Biden said the U.S. intended to remain a member of the international public health body.
This is against his predecessor’s plan to exit the World Health Organisation (WHO) by July 2021, based on allegations that the global body is covering up China over the coronavirus pandemic.
“Following last year’s Climate Ambition Summit, countries producing half of global carbon pollution had committed to carbon neutrality,” Mr Guterres said in reaction to the president’s decision.
“Today’s commitment by President Biden brings that figure to two-thirds,” the UN chief added.
Also reacting to the development, Director-General of WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, in a tweet on Thursday morning, said the U.S. has played an important role in improving global health.
“We are all glad that the United States of America is staying in the family.
“Since @WHO’s founding in 1948, the United States has played a vital role in global health & the American people have made enormous contributions to the health of the world people,” Mr Ghebreyesus said.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership, as I know all Member States do.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Donald Trump, in April 2020, ordered the suspension of funds to the WHO based on alleged mismanagement of the deadly pandemic by the health agency and the allegation it pandered to the whims of the Chinese government
Barely a month after, Mr Trump also announced that the United States would be cutting off its relationship with the international health agency.
“China has total control over the World Health Organisation,” Mr Trump was quoted by the New York Post as saying. He was also quoted as saying “the U.S. contributed $450 million to the WHO each year compared to China’s $40 million”.
“We have detailed reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he continued.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will today be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organisation and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Mr Trump added.
Then, Mr Ghebreyesus said then the decision would impact vulnerable people around the world.
“We regret the decision of the President of the United States to order a hold in funding to the WHO,” he had said. “With the support of the people and government of the U.S., WHO works to improve the health of many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”
The 15 executive actions, and two directives, signed by President Biden amount to an attempt to rewind the last four years of federal policies with striking speed.
Only two recent presidents signed executive actions on their first day in office — and each signed just one, according to a report on APnews.
“There’s no time to start like today,” Mr Biden said, in his first comments to reporters as president.
Part of the executive order is the nullifying of a travel ban imposed on citizens of some Muslim-majority countries, including Nigeria.
Before his exit from White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump-led administration was notorious for its harsh policies against multilateralism and multi-national institutions, immigrants and asylum seekers, one of his many election campaign promises.
He tightened the policies amidst the coronavirus pandemic which rocked the globe, claiming his decision was to protect American populace.
Mr Trump’s strict immigration policies have been condemned by leaders and civil groups in the past.
The American Civil Liberties Union, on Wednesday, lauded Mr Biden’s decision berating his predecessor’s travel policy as a “cruel Muslim ban that targeted Africans.”
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