United Nations Foundation Vice President for Global Health Kate Dodson released the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s announcement that it will strengthen and restore U.S. partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO):
“President Biden’s swift move to restore a strong and constructive U.S. relationship with WHO is a welcome first step in restoring America’s global health leadership. By prioritizing it as one of President Biden’s early acts in office, the Administration has signaled its deep commitment to the international cooperation that is essential to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the Biden Administration has taken a critical step to urgently save lives, both at home and abroad.
“WHO is the only body capable of leading and coordinating the global response to COVID-19, including future mutations of this virus and the global distribution of vaccines. America’s renewed role in WHO cannot come soon enough, as communities around the world and in the United States continue to battle the spread of COVID-19 with record-breaking case counts and deaths. We look forward to a new era of partnership between the U.S. and WHO, as well as sustained U.S. funding – in both assessed and voluntary contributions – to enable the Organization to safeguard the health of everyone, everywhere – including Americans.
“And by signaling U.S. intent to sign on to the ACT Accelerator and its COVAX facility, an effort coordinated by WHO, the Biden Administration has stepped up in solidarity with nearly every other country in the world in the commitment to equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. This is compassionate moral leadership — everyone, no matter where they live, deserves a chance to not only survive, but thrive. It is also in America’s self-interest. Equitable access to tests, treatments, and vaccines is the fastest way to end the global pandemic and enable the global and American economy to recover faster.
“As a global pandemic rages, eroding decades of hard-won progress on enhancing life expectancy and improving wellbeing – the U.S. has a unique opportunity to join allies in efforts to strengthen WHO, enabling it to better carry out its vision of health and well-being for all.
“The UN Foundation looks forward to working with the Biden Administration over the next four years to ensure the U.S. continues to be a strong ally of WHO.”