Press Releases

Contact: Michele Kayal
Phone: 202-866-0648

Statement: Children need the U.S. to support WHO more than ever

 The following is a statement from Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus on Children, in response to the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization: 

“During this pandemic, well over 100 million children have fallen behind on vaccinations and other critically important health services. This development demands a worldwide response from the World Health Organization (WHO) and nations around the globe to protect the lives and health of children and families, which is why the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from WHO is tragic and imposes grave risk to children around the world.

WHO has been a leader in combatting every global child health challenge over the last century,  in helping to eradicate smallpox, vaccinating billions against measles, and reducing preventable child deaths by more than half over the last three decades.  

Withdrawing from the WHO during the pandemic and its aftermath is the opposite of what the world’s children need from the United States. Instead of abandoning our leadership responsibility and withdrawing millions of dollars from the WHO at this critical moment, we should be actively working to improve the WHO and its work to combat life-threatening diseases like polio and malaria through critically important vaccination campaigns and other preventive health services for children.

First Focus on Children urges the Administration to reverse its position and continue to work with the WHO to improve its operation and work, combat COVID-19, and promote the health of children and families across the world.”