Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is encouraging expanded regional and multilateral health organizations’ support as the global confrontation of the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recently forwarded correspondence to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the Trump Administration to bolster support initiatives.
“At a time of great uncertainty for our nation and the world, it is therefore essential that the U.S. government marshal an international response to more effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” Menendez wrote. “Just as we seek to expand access to medical testing and health services for people in the United States, we must also accelerate our efforts to join governments around the world in sharing information and best practices on how to effectively address the current pandemic.”
Menendez indicated the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) play a pivotal role in strengthening health systems and responding to health emergencies and expressed concern that the nation is more than $41 million and $60 million in arrears to those organizations, respectively.
“For over three years, the Trump Administration has refused to invest in the international programs and organizations that make our citizens safer,” Menendez concluded. “Threats like COVID-19 do not respect borders, and the best public health practices tell us that investing in strong healthcare systems abroad pays dividends for the health and well-being of Americans here at home.”