Washington, D.C. – President Trump announced on May 29, 2020, that the United States would be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), following repeated, baseless criticism of the WHO’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In response to this harmful and impulsive decision, the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) joins the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and more than 65 other non-governmental organizations and global health institutions in an official letter of solidarity to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO staff worldwide.

We stand in support of the WHO’s pivotal work to protect global health security, recognizing its long history of leadership in global health, as well as the agency’s essential and immediate function to coordinate countries across the world to overcome COVID-19.

“As the largest financial contributor to the WHO, the United States’ potential withdrawal of critical funds is not only a threat to global COVID-19 response efforts, but endangers the health of the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Sabin Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan. “Many countries rely on WHO to support their health systems through technical guidance, resources and crucial public health infrastructure. De-funding this agency will senselessly put millions of lives at stake and we urge the administration to reverse this hazardous and deeply consequential decision.”  

“Pulling U.S. funds from the WHO will not only de-rail the pandemic response, but also undermine global immunization efforts and progress made against deadly diseases such as measles and polio,” said Dr. Bruce Gellin, Sabin’s president of global immunization. “Sabin Vaccine Institute condemns this decision and urges the administration to continue to work with the WHO to address COVID-19 and ensure that critical, lifesaving vaccines continue to reach everyone, everywhere.”

The letter and full list of signatories can be found here.



CHANGE is U.S.-based non-profit organization that advances gender equality and human rights for women and girls and others who face stigma and discrimination by advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. CHANGE does this by elevating the voices of those impacted by U.S. foreign policy in their research, advocacy, partnerships, and strategic communications.

About Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with more than two decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit www.sabin.org and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

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