President Trump’s announcement on Friday that the United States will cut ties with the World Health Organization was, he said, aimed at punishing China, which he claimed influenced the WHO to “mislead the world” about the Covid-19 pandemic. Cutting ties with the WHO is exactly the wrong move, at the wrong time. It adds fuel to the public health fire we have been collectively dealing with over the past several months.
The president’s announcement came just a few days after the U.S. had passed the 100,000 mark in Covid-19 deaths. The road to this grim milestone was paved with failures at the federal level to adequately prepare for such a crisis by underfunding the public health organizations tasked with pandemic response followed by the administration’s slipshod efforts to quickly deal with the outbreak when it reached the U.S.