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Yahoo! BooksOct 19, 2020
John Oliver says Trump's 'dangerous' push to pull the U.S. from the WHO is also 'on the ballot this year'
The World Health Organization is one of President Trump's "favorite punching bags," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. "Over the last six months, Trump has constantly tried to deflect blame for his handing of the coronavirus onto the WHO, China, and the close relationship that he claims the two have" -- so much so he "decided to withdraw the United States from the WHO," and "the clock is ticking.""Given that we're now on track to leave the WHO in less than a year, tonight let's talk about what that actually means -- how important the WHO's work is, how valid criticisms of it are, and what we might be putting at stake," Oliver said. "One of the biggest powers it has is the ability to declare a 'public health emergency of international concern,' and issue recommendations on how countries should respond." And despite the WHO having "absolutely no power on its own to enforce those recommendations," he said, "it's managed to do some incredible things in the past," including eradicating smallpox, nearly wiping out polio, and overseeing the more "tedious" task of developing the annual flu vaccine, all on a budget around the same size as a large U.S. hospital.Oliver put Trump's main critiques of the WHO in context and explained why the U.S. walking away from the organization -- not trying to fix its problems -- would be misguided and counterproductive, "especially in the middle of a global pandemic.""This is yet another depress
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