Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

The Us Can Create A Department Of State For Responding To Pandemics As Opposed To WHO

The Us Can Create A Department Of State For Responding To Pandemics As Opposed To WHO

The administration of US President Donald Trump is considering creating a division in the state Department that will deal with global responses to infectious disease outbreaks, according to Politico with reference to the documents in its possession.

According to the publication, the idea of creating a special unit within the foreign Ministry arose against the background of the lack of coordination of various organizations in the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the new division of the American diplomatic service will partially duplicate the work of the World Health Organization (WHO), whose contributions the US has suspended pending an assessment of its role in hiding data on the spread of infection. Trump has repeatedly criticized the work of WHO, noting that the structure is funded mainly by the United States, but focuses on China.

"In accordance with the proposed initiative, the state Department will appoint a coordinator who will oversee almost every aspect of preparing for and responding to pandemics: from distributing vaccines and medicines around the world to developing modern protocols to prevent the spread of outbreaks [of infectious diseases]," the publication writes. According to Politico, the white house coordinator for fighting the spread of coronavirus, Deborah Birks, can lead the unit if it is established.

It is emphasized that the administration's plans may cause dissatisfaction from the US Agency for international development (AMR, an organization in the structure of the state Department, whose activities are aimed at providing non-military assistance to other countries) because the creation of a new Department will deprive AMR of a significant share of influence and funding. Some of the Agency's decisions - such as sending medical supplies to other countries amid shortages in the United States - have previously been criticized by a working group set up by the White House to combat coronavirus.

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