More than a dozen U.S. health experts based at the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva provided real-time information about the new coronavirus in China last year, according to a new report.
President Donald Trump announced last week that the U.S. would stop providing funding to WHO, because it allegedly “missed the call” by not sounding the alarm “months earlier.” Trump, who also accused WHO of being “China-centric,” has ramped up his rhetoric against the organization after numerous media reports revealed that the president and his advisers did not head warnings about the emerging pandemic from intelligence agencies, health experts, economists and even top White House aides. The president continued to downplay the threat publicly in an apparent attempt to calm the stock market.
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From The Nation:
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.
Obey and other advocates for the spending argued […that…] pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.
Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, Obey’s attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient.
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