“Doctor, there’s nothing wrong with me / Doctor doctor, can’t you see / Doctor, I ain’t going to die / Just write me an alibi” — Doctor Alibi, written by Lemmy and Slash, 2010
In case you’ve made the reasonable decision to disconnect the Wi-Fi connection to your sensory deprivation tank, you might be unaware that the acting President of the United States (named so because he’s really just acting) kneecapped the World Health Organization because… well, because he’s a raving idiot, a pestilence worse than coronavirus, and he is constantly in need of something or someone to blame for his many, many failings.
The WHO is not the creation of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama; in fact, Clinton was only about six months old when it was founded and Obama was more than 14 years shy of leaving the womb. However, it is part of the United Nations. WHO is, according to Wikipedia shorthand, a “specialized agency responsible for international public health.” They have no WHO-police, no WHO-armies, and no power of law. They do have a lot of doctors, scientists and learned individuals who try to figure out how to make Earth more habitable, at least with respect to advances in healthcare.
Recent history has shown us quite clearly that Mr. Trump has no desire to bring about advances in healthcare, nor does he seem to like doctors who will not lie for him… or scientists in general. News flash: Doctors are scientists. But the Great Orange Menace is hardly alone in this attitude. The American Right has been opposed to the United Nations since it was created; indeed, before World War II they were opposed to its predecessor organization, the League of Nations. Their goal was to keep the world-part out of the phrase “world war.” It turns out that these Americans were opposed to this idea.
I’m not suggesting that had the United States been part of the League of Nations we might have prevented World War II. We simply do not know. By the time Hitler was elected chancellor, the Nazis were pretty well entrenched. Of course, that was in 1933; the League — founded by Woodrow Wilson — went into business more than 13 years earlier.
However, we do know that the World Health Organization has done a hell of a lot more than Trump has to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. That’s not as big a deal as it sounds. Our older cat, who’s about 13, has done a hell of a lot more than Trump has to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, in cat-years he’s eligible for Medicare, so perhaps his motives are suspect.
The World Health Organization consists of representatives of all U.N. member nations — well, maybe except for one right now. Contrary to the babblings of fools, they are not a do-nothing organization. They specialize in coping with international health issues, focusing on communicable diseases. If you or your friends and family have missed out on smallpox, polio, tuberculosis, Ebola, and/or malaria, to name but a few, you’ve got the WHO to thank.
Please note: the plagues I just outlined have no respect for international borders. You’d think Trump, with his rampant and malicious paranoia about the evils that cross our borders, would have more concern for the spread of communicable disease. Of course, that would require him to care about “science” and to read “books.”
The WHO 2018 – 2019 budget was $3.2 billion dollars. 80% of this was contributed voluntarily; the remaining came from assessed contributions, pro-rata funded from all of the United Nations member countries. Here’s one way of looking at it: in 2016, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is not part of the U.S. government, alone contributed nearly three times what the U.S. government was assessed. Here’s another way of looking at it: the U.S. government contributed about half-again as much as Rotary International.
And this was during the Obama administration.
I’m not saying the United States’ assessed contribution was a drop in the bucket. It has been enough that without it, more people will die needlessly.
More blood on the orange hands of Donald J. Trump.
Come on, come on, who? / Who are you? Who, who, who, who? / Oh, who the fuck are you? Who are you? Who, who, who, who? / Who are you? Who are you /Who, who, who, who? / Oh, tell me who are you / Who are you? Who, who, who, who?/ I really wanna know — Who Are You, written by Pete Townshend, 1978
(The author would like to offer thanks to the editor for having a better understanding how this whole “numbering” thing works.)