Lanhee Chen: Rejoining the WHO

The Biden Administration announced in their first week that the US is rejoining the World Health Organization. But the WHO is a flawed group—one that has performed poorly while the world has struggled with COVID-19. Early on, the group was far too deferential to China, even parroting Beijing’s early claim that the virus could not be transmitted between humans. Since then, an independent panel concluded that the WHO dithered in its response, waiting too long to declare an international emergency. All the while, the WHO has continued to block Taiwan’s participation because of political objections from the Chinese government, despite the fact that the world has much to learn from Taiwan’s exceptional response to the virus.

Before rejoining the WHO, we should have demanded some accountability and reform from the group for the $400 million in taxpayer dollars we send to it each year. It looks like we’ll keep on writing blank checks to the WHO—which they are more than happy to keep cashing.