U.S. withdrawal from WHO "dangerous to human life" as world faces threat of COVID-19, future pandemics: U.S. expert

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-09 12:51:34|Editor: huaxia

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. formal notification of withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) is "dangerous to human life" as the world faces not only the COVID-19 threat but also the threat of future pandemics, a U.S. public health expert said Wednesday.

As global COVID-19 infections top 12 million, with a vaccine still not in sight, "withdrawal is counterintuitive at best and dangerous to human life at worst," Amanda Glassman, also executive vice president of the Center for Global Development think tank, told USA Today. "The U.S. Congress should immediately explore what power it has to prevent this from happening."

She noted that the probability of a high lethality strain of influenza in the next decade or so is also significant, which are more likely because of increased zoonotic transmission, adding that corrective measures at the WHO are needed and member states' staying engaged is necessary.

The United States has reported more than 3 million COVID-19 cases with over 132,000 deaths, which are far higher than those in any other country or region, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University tally.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly assailed the WHO for months and threatened to cut ties with the organization. Trump also announced in mid-April that his administration would halt U.S. funding to the WHO.

The United States will leave the WHO on July 6, 2021, and currently owes the organization more than 200 million U.S. dollars in assessed contributions, according to the WHO website. Enditem