The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization will hurt the United States, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in an interview with Time posted Thursday.
“Withdrawing from WHO actually hurts the US, because being part of WHO is not just to help those who need support,” said Tedros. “The US also benefits from being a member of WHO.”
Tedros told Time that when he first heard that the United States was withdrawing from WHO, he didn’t believe it. He said he had a “very cordial” conversation with US President Donald Trump on March 23, in which there was no hint that the US was planning a withdrawal.
“Even now, I believe that the US administration doesn't have any good reason to withdraw from WHO,” said Tedros. “And that’s my strong position. No good reason.”
Tedros said the consequences of the decision are still unclear.
“I don't see the membership or the relationship with the US as a financial transaction. It's not the money which matters. It's actually the global leadership of the US,” Tedros said.
He noted that when battling the coronavirus pandemic, nations are stronger together.
“One of the impacts which may be visible is, you know, the global solidarity is weak. Major global powers are not working together,” Tedros said.