Professor Peter Piot comments on halting funding to the WHO

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The President of the United States has announced the decision that his administration will halt US funding to the World Health Organization (WHO). In response to this Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

"The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest global health challenge facing our societies and economies for more than 100 years. At this critical moment in our history we must stick together. Solidarity is crucial to defeating this virus.

We need the World Health Organization now more than ever. Its technical expertise, guidance and leadership is supporting countries to implement optimum science-based strategies to prevent and control COVID-19, and will catalyse global action against future health emergencies. 

WHO also continues to be on the frontlines of other public health emergencies such as the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For many communities around the world, especially in low and middle income countries, their vital programmes are an essential lifeline.

Halting funding to the WHO is a dangerous, short-sighted and politically motivated decision, with potential public health consequences for all countries in the world, whether they are rich or poor.

COVID-19 does not respect borders, and WHO’s support to countries’ responses around the globe, especially the most vulnerable, is more crucial than ever. 

This pandemic is not over anywhere until it is over everywhere. Strong support from the United States has always been key for WHO's effectiveness and must continue."

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