WHO chief thanks Biden for membership U-turn

Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday thanked new US President Joe Biden for honouring his pledge to U-turn on its membership status and join the organization’s vaccine access initiatives.

“This is a good day for (the) WHO, and a good day for global health. The global role of the United States is very, very crucial,” Ghebreyesus said at the 148th session of the Executive Board.

Ghebreyesus spoke minutes after US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci delivered his statements as head of the US delegation.

“Thank you, President Biden, for honouring your pledge to maintain the membership of the United States in WHO, and thank you for your commitment to join the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and COVAX,” Ghebreyesus added.

The Director-General added that he was pleased the US was staying the the “family of nations” that is the WHO. Immediately upon taking office, Biden issued a flurry of executive orders reversing some key policies of former President Donald Trump, including the controversial move to exit the WHO.

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