📌 We know that many of our readers would like to see some short, pointed posts here. So, in contrast to the longer, more analytical articles we usually publish – normal for an academic institution – an Oberg Comment is a short text by the editor of The Transnational, Jan Oberg, which alerts you to one or two main points, offers some informative links for self-study or is simply a recommendation or “MustRead/Watch” with lasting educative value. Since they will be max 600 words, they are also easier to use for the media. We hope you will like the format too.
April 16, 2020
President Trump has taken one more step toward self-isolation of the US from the world community. This BBC post tells who the main contributors to the WHO were in 2018-2019 and – yes – you’ll see that the US was the largest contributor.
But at least three things are striking.
1) The US contribution seems to be only US$ 400; that is the same sum Trump recently gave in military support to Ukraine. The price of just one Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft ranges between US$ 90 and 115 million.
In the larger scheme of things, the WHO is a cheap organisation and the real priorities of the US are crystal clear: We can’t afford millions on something so useless as the WHO. We have more useful things to spend our money on!
2) China contributes US$ 86 million to the WHO and doesn’t rank among the ten largest contributors. So, if China is influencing the WHO as much as Mr. Trump argues, it is at least not through money.
He is also critical that the WHO should have praised China’s handling of the Coronavirus too much. Well, if you read these three factual and reliable articles, there are quite good reasons to praise China – and learn from it – not the least if you fight Corona in the Western world:
How China broke the chain of infection
Insights into China’s victory over the Coronavirus
How the Coronavirus changed our lives
3) It ought to be peanuts for the world’s countries and private donors to contribute more and thereby do two important good things: 1) show their commitment to this world-important UN organisation by compensating the loss of the US contribution at least 100% in this situation and 2) thereby reduce or abolish US bullying and money-based attempt to dominate.
If you found this relevant and informative, please reward TFF with the equivalent of a cup of coffee…
I think that the biggest problem with WHO is not that USA fails to
fund it, but that it is in the hands of big pharma, that doesn’t care
about health. See e.g.
Many thanks. I know that that is a problem, however, not how big it is.
But I always find it important to guard the UN as such against all kinds of attacks because it is a systematic campaign to undermine and marginalize it – at least since Srebrenica.
Trump’s argument is not about big pharma as you know, it is about the WHO being “China-centric” – which I consider nonsense and in need of being countered by fact.
And – about other organisations: I believe that NATO is in the hands of big Military and big Military Industries – what I call the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAC).
I wonder how many corporations the EU is in the hands of… and you can go on. Why mentioned industrial meddling only with the WHO but not as a general disease?
Until we define a better new UN and new WHO, we should take extreme care not to let the bastards tear down what has been built over 70 years. With the average intellectual qualities of today’s leaders of the Western world these days, I’d rather muddle through with the UN as it is than having some of those devise alternatives. And that is a very sad, even painful, thing to state.
Finally, it is my understanding that the WHO was in the process of re-organising and getting more productive, more professional. Attempting to preventing it from doing all it can in these days of the global Coronavirus must be condemned – strongly.
Remember Trygve Lie in 1948 or 1949: “The UN will never be better or stronger than the member states want to make it.” That’s some of the most truthful that has ever been said about the UN. If the WHO is not good enough, ask which member(s) are destroying it and how it can become much better. We must not go along with the Trumpism and conspiracy theories he seems to operate more or less constantly on.