President Biden’s top adviser on COVID-19, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciBiden moves to halt US exodus from World Health Organization Presidential pardons need to go Pence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden MORE, stressed the new administration’s support for the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday after former President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden’s Inauguration Day Arizona Republican’s brothers say he is ‘at least partially to blame’ for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump’s freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE and his administration’s criticism.
Fauci vowed during a virtual WHO executive board meeting to rejoin the effort to distribute vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics around the world and to restart funding and staff support for the organization. He also indicated the U.S. plans “to fulfill its financial obligations to the organization.”
“I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci said at the meeting, noting that Biden signed documents reversing the Trump administration’s decision to depart from the organization starting in July.
Fauci said the documents have been sent to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whom he called his “dear friend.”
The Trump administration froze funding to WHO last year and declared that the U.S. would depart the organization, accusing it of having a favorable bias toward China. The previous administration frequently criticized WHO amid its response to the pandemic, which has infected more people and caused more deaths in the U.S. than any other country.
House Republicans had condemned the Biden administration’s reconnection to WHO, saying it was fraught with Chinese propaganda.
Fauci addressed some of those concerns on Thursday, saying that the U.S. will work to reform the organization and is “committed to transparency, including those events surrounding the early days of the pandemic.”
“It is imperative that we learn and build upon important lessons about how future pandemic events can be averted,” he said. “The international investigation should be robust and clear, and we look forward to evaluating it.”
Tedros celebrated the decision announced by “my brother Tony,” calling it a “good day for WHO and a good day for global health.”
“The role of the United States, its role, global role is very, very crucial,” he said.
–Updated at 8:08 a.m.