GHTC condemns US Administration's withdrawal from WHO
The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) condemns the US administration’s official notification to the United Nations secretary-general to start the process of withdrawing as a member of the World Health Organization (WHO). The United States helped found WHO in 1948 based on the understanding that diseases know no borders and that collective efforts to eradicate disease are better than any single country going it alone. WHO has been a valued partner in strengthening health research, product development, and regulatory systems globally. It plays a critical normative role in collecting health intelligence from around the world and helping support research advancement in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and many other health areas.
Looking at the current pandemic alone, WHO has played a herculean role in mobilizing the research response:
- It quickly developed target product profiles to guide global efforts to develop tests, treatments, and vaccines.
- It has marshaled a partnership with member states, major donors, and the private sector to create the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to coordinate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 technologies.
- It is coordinating the Solidarity Trial, an unprecedented global effort to test potential treatments and vaccines, which includes the participation of over 100 countries and facilitates the comparison of potential therapeutic treatments 80 percent faster than single-country studies.
- It is coordinating safe and efficient Emergency Use Listings of COVID-19 products to support national regulatory agencies in reviewing products as quickly as possible when they become available and has created guidelines for developers who will seek approval of products through its prequalification program.
- It is developing a framework strategy for the distribution of future coronavirus treatments and vaccines, with over 4 billion doses needed to vaccinate the world's priority populations.
Each element of WHO’s COVID-19 response touches the ongoing work of US government agencies, private-sector partners, researchers, and the academic community to collectively fight this pandemic.
We urge Congress to engage with US agencies and other partners who work on health research and product development to request information on the myriad ways their work is advanced and strengthened through collaboration with WHO and how it might be negatively impacted by the Aministration’s decision.
Remaining a member of WHO is in our health, security, economic, and scientific interests, and we once again call on Congress to take action and demand the Administration reverse this decision.