Hot answers tagged

118

What the US would gain is unclear, besides saving some contribution money. What Trump gains is turning the narrative away from criticism of his leadership with regards to the Covid crisis and reframing it as something for which he doesn't have to take any responsibility because it was all China's and the WHO's fault. Basically, the Covid story is here to ...


67

Partial frame challenge if you like. Fox News has chosen an interesting year to highlight. As you can see, US voluntary contributions have varied a lot; only $112 million in 2011 (and similar in 2014) for example. A portion of these are also "earmarked funds", i.e. WHO can't spend them as they please, but only as the donor specifies, so e.g. the US DoD ...


57

You are correct, Congress does control the purse strings, and has the final say on this. However, there are ways in which Trump can get around this. Let's first look at what Trump actually announced: Today, I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health ...


42

Leaving the WHO would release the US from the legal obligations of its membership; chiefly those set out by the International Health Regulations of 2005. These are fairly wide ranging and pithy, far too in-depth to describe thoroughly in an answer here, but a good summary may be found in the WHO's publication International Health Regulations (2005): A brief ...


31

The WHO was clearly wary that human-to-human transmission may be a factor at the beginning of January - although their initial Disease Outbreak News (DON) of January 5th entitled "Pneumonia of unknown cause – China" states that: According to the authorities, some patients were operating dealers or vendors in the Huanan Seafood market. Based on the ...


27

It's important to note that China had some evidence of human-to-human transmission as early as December 2019 The symptom onset date of the first patient identified was Dec 1, 2019. None of his family members developed fever or any respiratory symptoms. No epidemiological link was found between the first patient and later cases. The first fatal case, who had ...


27

This is not a cost-benefit calculation based off money contributions Condemning WHO is a political statement relating to the facts that: Taiwan is kept out of WHO by China, (Arguably) there was misleading information that has been coming from the WHO in the initial stages of the pandemic, China has a lot more influence on WHO than US would like. This ...


22

According to the article you linked to, “Wet market” doesn’t mean a live animal market - it means a market selling fresh food and produce, which sometimes also includes animals: Wet markets sell fresh food and produce - as opposed to 'dry' goods such as clothing - and some stock live animals such as chickens as well as seafood and livestock. https://...


22

Re. assessed, rather than voluntary contributions, this article goes into the funding calculation basis, for the UN as a whole (the WHO being part of the UN). The reason it's relevant is that, in political discourse, the US's share of UN contribution often comes up and it is definitely part of the general pattern of discussion on this type of subject. ...


19

The US gains nothing, and in fact loses quite a bit. While I can't find any polls on the question - either the withdrawal is too recent, or my Google skills aren't up to the task :-( - I'd bet that most Americans don't think the withdrawal is a good idea, just as they did not approve of cutting WHO funding. However, the US withdrawal is not about possible ...


14

Probably because prior WHO research was rather skeptical of their ultimate effectiveness: Screening and quarantining entering travelers at international borders did not substantially delay virus introduction in past pandemics, except in some island countries, and will likely be even less effective in the modern era. That paper was co-authored (on behalf of ...


10

The small Italian town of Vò has tested and retested its entire population. Through testing and retesting of all 3,300 inhabitants of the town of Vò, near Venice, regardless of whether they were exhibiting symptoms, and rigorous quarantining of their contacts once infection was confirmed, health authorities have been able to completely stop the spread of ...


8

It's not that USA pays a lot, it's that China is stingy. That probably has to do with a perceived western bias in the UN (citation needed) which China doesn't like (citation needed). For example look at the data quoted in an other answer: Without going into calculations and sources, we see that Germany pays more per capita than the USA (80/328 population ...


7

The full text of your article explains what it means by the US "meddling": For weeks, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been claiming without evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic is linked to a lab in Wuhan that researches bat coronaviruses. Their efforts are clearly calculated to distract from Trump’s bungled response ...


7

For what's worth it, Al Jazeera quoted a third-party defence of the WHO: Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, said the last thing the US and the WHO need right now is this sort of a fight. "It is a distraction from the need to focus on defeating this pandemic," he told Al Jazeera. "No virus has a ...


7

The WHO released a joined statement with the ICAO ([on the WHO website it's dated 11 March 2020). It does not mention travel restrictions directly. It does, however, stress cooperation at different levels, for example between "aviation and health authorities". My interpretation is that the WHO is leaving such restrictions up to the states, at least in ...


7

WHO officials have criticised the UK government's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic Actually the quoted criticism does not come from the WHO, nor from a current employee of the WHO. It comes from Professor Anthony Costello, ex-director of maternal and child health at the World Health Organisation The criticism is of the claim that the UK government ...


7

I am unable to find any instances of random samples for Covid-19 tests being drawn from the general population (at the time of writing, see other answers for more recent developments). Current random test samples seem to have been drawn from populations most likely to be infected with the virus, such as healthcare professionals or those who have recently ...


6

The Dutch have begun a project to test donated blood for the antibodies to SARS-COV-2. (sources: Reuters, NLtimes) The motivation for this project seems to be similar to that in your discussion. The blood antibody test is different than the swab tests, however. The swab PCR tests seem to be designed for patients who have a significant probability of having ...


6

Trump's letter to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization clearly lays out Trump's reasoning: the WHO is "not serving America's interests" and so the US should not support the organization. To quote the concluding paragraph: It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the ...


5

Very little, practically speaking. From the WHO: "Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this #coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do"- @DrTedros As discussed in this Q&A, the definition of "pandemic" is fairly arbitrary. It does ...


5

Iceland has come close Since their first cases in late February, Iceland has provided free COVID-19 testing to anyone with no requirements for symptoms and travel. So far (as of 4/1), they've tested >5% of the population. While this is not a fully random sampling, since asymptomatic people still have to opt-in, but it provides a much better sampling of ...


5

The WHO has reported sex-distributed data - in their 89th COVID-19 situation report published on April 13th, they released data on this topic aggregated from the then 747,546 cases reported by member states. Of these documented cases, 95.9% reported information on sex. Distribution by age and sex of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to the WHO case-based ...


5

It depends what one means by that. The Wuhan branch of the CCP is probably the one mostly responsible for muzzling the local doctors etc. But then the center was responsible for the initially overly bureaucratic response, which made it difficult to confirm new cases. AP has published (fairly recently, Apr 15) a long investigative piece focusing mostly on ...


5

Wikipedia states that: A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. ... A treaty which establishes an international organization is also its constitution, in that it would define ...


3

Because these contributions are targeted specific Programmes and activities, and these Programmes are usually not constantly running. The WHO document, Voluntary contributions by fund and by contributor, 2018 (PDF, page 6) shows the following categories of contributions by the US: Core voluntary contributions account — $0 Voluntary contributions — core — $...


3

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment held a small random sample test among hospital staff in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant. Outcome indicated that about 4% of staff was infected with COVID-19. From 6 to 8 March 1097 hospital workers were tested of which 3.9 per cent was indeed infected with COVID-19. The percentages ...


3

Like any alert system, this is the highest level of alert they can issue. What does this exactly mean, however? That's not as clear In some ways, declaring a pandemic is more art than science. “Pandemics mean different things to different people,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in February. “It really ...


3

The main benefit for Trump is that is brings US foreign policy and health policy closer in line with his values. Trump is fundamentally a US Foreign Policy Jacksonian. This is the one of Mead's 4 schools of US Foreign Policy that has often been caricatured as "isolationist". Jacksonians tend to believe strongly in a self-sufficient USA that avoids all ...


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