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U.S. will remain a WHO member and join the global COVID-19 vaccine plan, says Dr. Fauci

U.S. will remain a WHO member and join global COVID-19 vaccine plan

January 21, 2021: The U.S. will continue to be a member of the World Health Organization and wants to join a global alliance whose aim is to deliver coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Thursday.

Fauci said, “President Biden will issue a directive later today which will include the intent of the United States to join COVAX and support the ACT-Accelerator to advance multilateral efforts for Covid-19 vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic distribution, equitable access, and research and development.”

President Donald Trump announced in May that the U.S. would withdraw from the WHO, but the process was unexpected to be finalized until this July.

Fauci said the Biden administration planned to work with other 193 member states to reform the group.

“This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

WHO delegates welcomed the decision with appreciation that the new administration would now seek the international aid group amid the ongoing pandemic.

Fauci is America’s top infectious disease expert who accepted Biden’s offer to join his administration and serve as chief medical advisor. He will lead a U.S. delegation at the WHO’s annual meetings for the week.

Trump had repeatedly criticized the WHO for being what he perceived to be too “China-centric” and denounced the amount of funding the U.S. allocated to the health agency compared to other countries.

The WHO is funded by a combination of members’ fees based on wealth and population, and voluntary contributions.

In August, the WHO’s Tedros said that he hoped the U.S. would reconsider its decision to leave the organization.

 The problem was “not about the money,” Tedros said, but rather about the lack of cooperation amid the pandemic.

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