Management Sciences for Health Supports the United States re-Engagement with the World Health Organization

President-elect Joe Biden has declared that the US will re-enter the World Health Organization on Day 1 of the new administration

Since 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) has embodied the spirit of international cooperation by tackling the world’s most challenging health issues. The Trump administration’s move in July 2020 to formally withdraw the U.S. from the international body caused an outcry from many, including global health organizations like Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

MSH fully supports and applauds the decision of President-elect Biden to rejoin WHO. As a public health organization headquartered in the United States with offices in dozens of countries and 50 years of experience, we know that we are all stronger when we work together.

WHO has coordinated campaigns that eradicated smallpox, brought us the Ebola vaccine, made significant gains against polio, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and improved the health and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. Our continued action will help us prevail over COVID-19, noncommunicable diseases, and other dire threats to our health.

The U.S. re-entry will support and encourage the U.S.’s ability to shape and lead policy. Staying with the WHO will help the U.S. shape rules such as the International Health Regulations, norms such as the WHO Priority Bacterial Pathogen List, and many public health programs.

It will streamline and support international health efforts. WHO is the global coordinator for long standing and successful health programs, and is the central clearinghouse for information that guides governments, institutions, and health facilities. For example, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S.’s signature achievement in responding to HIV/AIDS, has relied on WHO to deliver health messages, ensure quality medications, and set health workforce standards. 

It will accelerate pandemic recovery. U.S. participation in WHO activities will increase access to critical health program information, like key scientific data, health intelligence, and insights globally to advance research on HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, emerging infectious disease, and antimicrobial resistance. It will help the U.S. response to the current pandemic, and increase the U.S.’s ability to return to optimum health and productivity.