Opinion

After Flexing on the WHO, Trump Should Muscle the UN Out of Americans’ Pockets

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Posted: Apr 16, 2020 12:01 AM
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After Flexing on the WHO, Trump Should Muscle the UN Out of Americans’ Pockets

Source: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

It is magnificent to see President Trump call for a complete and total shutdown of American funding of the World Health Organization until we can figure out what the hell is going on. Now he must do the same for the whole United Nations project.

The “Chinese Health Organization,” as Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso calls it, has a long track record of being political and corruptible. 

In 2017, WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made murderous Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador before rescinding the appointment under backlash. 

It’s no surprise then that Tedros reacted with fearmongering to Trump’s Tuesday announcement that he would halt funding of the United Nations agency.

“If you don't want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it,” Tedros said.

The arrogance is almost too much to stomach.

The American taxpayer is responsible for 22 percent of the WHO’s 2020-21 fiscal year budget, an astounding $236.9 million. For comparison, China volunteered about half of that, just $129 million. According to Forbes, $3.5 billion in US taxes have gone to the WHO in the last decade alone. The US also pays about 22 percent of the UN’s budget.

Before Trump’s defunding decision, the whole world witnessed undeniable evidence of the politicization of the WHO. The shocking moment took place when the WHO’s COVID-19 response leader, Canadian epidemiologist Bruce Aylward, appeared to disconnect his Skype connection with Hong Kong reporter Yvonne Tong. 

In the viral news clip, Tong persists in asking whether the WHO might consider granting Taiwan membership status. It doesn't take a body language expert to notice Aylward’s discomfort at the question, one the Chinese prefer to go unaddressed.

Aylward goes silent for nearly 10 seconds before Tong asks, “Hello?”

“I'm sorry, I can't hear you, I couldn't hear your question, Yvonne,” Aylward stutters before interrupting Tong to say, “No, that's OK, let's move to another one then.”

Trump is not alone in his criticism of the WHO; he’s just the only one willing to actually do something about it. In 2017, the London School of Economics and Political Science noted many “structural concerns that need to be addressed if the WHO is to continue in the role the global health community expects it to play.” 

Now, all patriots should appeal to Trump to not treat the UN with kid gloves any longer. It is, after all, the creator of the WHO, and is abdicating its authority in properly regulating it.

Some Trump supporters may not want too much more to be asked of the president at this time of economic calamity and, oh yeah, a presidential election.

However, Trump only needs to finish what his administration started its first week in power. In January 2017, two executive orders were drafted for “at least a 40 percent overall” cut in UN funding, the New York Times reported. They were never finalized or signed.

In April 2017, Trump spoke at a luncheon of the UN Security Council Ambassadors. 

“I have long felt the United Nations is an underperformer but has tremendous potential. There are those people that think it’s an underperformer and will never perform,” he said.

If any potential remains, it is declining as long as the status quo is secured. The anxiety surrounding the UN and other international bodies prior to Trump’s election and inauguration has subsided. 

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Remember that the US pays 22 percent of the UN’s budget. But that’s just its regular budget, not including other agencies the US supports, including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization. 

The IAEA receives $200 million annually from the US, about 25 percent. China, the next largest provider, gives less than half that. 

The FAO takes in some $290 million yearly from the US, over 29 percent of its annual budget. It produces silly hashtag activism articles like this: “6 Ways indigenous peoples are helping the world achieve #Zero Hunger.” 

Additionally, the US covers some 30 percent of the UN’s “peacekeeping” missions. How’d that work out in Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Sudan?

In his unprecedented 2016 campaign, Trump keenly observed exactly what Americans have long known, that the UN is a boondoggle. It forces this country into a position diametrically opposed to putting America first.

Necessary action has yet to be taken to secure America’s independence from these globalist bureaucracies. What better time than now, amid a crisis of foreign origin, for Trump to knock his naysayers back on their heels?

To truly push back against China and the WHO, Trump should aim at the UN. If he lets this moment pass by, another one may never come again.