White House rejects ‘corrupt’ WHO concerns over Covid-19 vaccine development

The Trump administration has rejected concerns coming from the World Health Organization that a US coronavirus vaccine may be approved without meeting WHO standards, calling the organization corrupt and beholden to China.

“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“This president will spare no expense to ensure that any new vaccine maintains our own FDA’s gold standard for safety and efficacy, is thoroughly tested, and saves lives,” Deere added.

The statement comes after the Washington Post reported that the US has refused to join the WHO’s COVAX initiative, which seeks to pool resources for developing multiple vaccines that would be then distributed globally “according to need.”

The WHO has urged against “vaccine nationalism” and wants any Covid-19 vaccine distributed based on population size, to ensure equity.  

After initially following WHO advice for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the US accused the health organization of covering up for China’s alleged mishandling of the virus and allowing it to spread. President Donald Trump first cut off US funding to the WHO, and in July triggered the formal withdrawal from the organization, which will go into effect by July 2021.

As of Tuesday, the US has registered over six million cases of Covid-19, and 184,270 deaths.

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