Alexander Cooley on Trump's Decision to Pull out of the WHO

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Harriman Director Alexander Cooley, with co-author Daniel Nexon, published "Trump Says the U.S. Will Pull Out of the World Health Organization. China Will Happily Fill the Void," on the Washington Post's Monkey Cage Blog. The authors draw on arguments from their new book, Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order.

"On May 29, in a press conference where he didn’t take any questions, President Trump announced that he was terminating the US relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming that China has “total control” over the WHO “despite paying only $40 million a year.” Trump claimed that the U.S. had requested reforms from the WHO, but that it had failed to act. Now, Trump says that he will redirect U.S. funds for the WHO to other deserving organizations.

International organizations like the WHO are not a sideshow to power politics — they are a crucial arena of struggle. The United States has already experienced costs from backing away from the United Nations, where China and other powers have happily stepped into the void. Now it may be pulling out of the preeminent institution of global health governance, again creating an opening for China." Read more.

This is an updated version of an article published in April 2020.