Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:36
US Official Touts Global Cooperation as Trump Makes WHO Exit Official
TEHRAN(FNA) - White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx on Tuesday touted US investment in global public health and praised international efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic just as the administration of President Donald Trump formally withdrew from the World Health Organization.

Birx, appearing at an Atlantic Council panel discussion, pointed to US investments in global efforts to combat HIV and tuberculosis and praised the international community for sharing information early in the pandemic that she said reduced US deaths, POLITICO reported.

“That global cooperation, which sometimes isn’t visible at the highest stage, works every single day,” Birx said as she thanked ministers from European nations.

“You saved a lot of people in the US by sharing that information early on,” she added.

Her comments at the international think tank came as the administration sent the United Nations and Congress formal notice of the US withdrawal from the WHO, which a White House spokesperson confirmed will take effect on July 6, 2021.

President Trump announced the decision in May, citing what he characterized as the WHO's slow and ineffective response to the pandemic and Chinese government influence over the group.

Senate health committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), sharply criticized the move on Tuesday, saying it could hurt efforts to develop vaccines and respond to other emerging global threats. He said Trump could have instead recommended changes to how the WHO does business.

"Withdrawing US membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need," Alexander said in a statement.

Coronavirus infections are rising in at least 40 US states and are on pace to soon hit 3 million confirmed cases nationwide. Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, in particular, have seen cases and hospitalizations accelerate in recent weeks.

Birx in an earlier appearance Tuesday attributed the rise in cases to states and local governments relaxing lockdown orders too quickly — and to individuals not wearing face coverings or social distancing.

"A lot of individuals and a lot of businesses instead of driving 25 in a 25 mile an hour zone, stepped on the gas and started going 65, and it's really evident now in the spread of cases across most age groups," she told SiriusXM’s “Wharton Business Daily”.

Birx floated the idea of “mandatory masks” in areas that are seeing a rise in cases. Other top government officials including NIH infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir have all endorsed universal face coverings as infection rates climb.

“We have the control to change the course of this virus today, and it will take individual action, wearing masks in public everywhere in the United States, wearing masks around the vulnerable inside, wearing masks in the workplace, really curtailing our activities," Birx told SiriusXM.

Trump has largely downplayed the resurgence in cases or the need for masks while pressing to continue reopening the country. The White House is pushing schools to reopen in the fall, even as cases spike.





Bottom top
Lebanese Rescue Workers Hunt for Survivors after Deadly Beirut Blast

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lebanese rescue workers dug through the rubble looking for survivors of a powerful warehouse explosion that shook the capital Beirut, killing 100 people and injuring nearly 5,000 in a toll that officials expected to rise. [PHOTOS]
GRAPHIC: Treatment, Observation to Victims of Deadly Beirut Explosion

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lebanese rescue workers dug through the rubble looking for survivors of a powerful warehouse explosion that shook the capital Beirut, killing 100 people and injuring nearly 5,000 in a toll that officials expected to rise and hospitals are now struggling to treat thousands of people who were injured in the blast. [VIDEO]
Aftermath of Beirut Deadly Blast: Damage, Explosive Remnants

TEHRAN (FNA)- Beirut awoke on Wednesday morning to the aftermath of two enormous explosions that ripped through Beirut's port, killing at least 100 people and injuring thousands. [VIDEO]
Iran, Ukraine Discuss Results of Talks on Crashed Plane

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in a phone conversation conferred on the latest developments and talks held between the two sides to pursue the incident for an airliner over the Iranian airspace.
IRGC Commander Voices Readiness to Help Lebanese Gov’t, Injured People

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami underlined the IRGC’s readiness to help the Lebanese government and nation after the huge explosion in Beirut which left thousands of people killed and injured.
Analyst: US, Israel Beneficiaries of Beirut Explosion

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US and Israel gain the most benefits from the Tuesday explosion and devastation in Beirut, a prominent analyst said, adding that Tel Aviv and Washington have always been after economic and security pressures on Lebanon.
Scientists Fear Trump Could Rush Out Coronavirus Vaccine Before It's Ready

TEHRAN (FNA)- Reports indicated that some American scientists involved in the US government’s pursuit of a coronavirus vaccine are worried the project may be proceeding too hastily – and even that it might be becoming politicized.
Supreme Leader Pardons, Commutes Sentences of over 2,000 Prisoners

TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of 2,135 prisoners upon a request by Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Rayeesi, on the occasion of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Ghadir.
Iran’s Speaker Stresses All-Out Help for Lebanon amid Blast Tragedy

TEHRAN (FNA)- Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said that his country stands by the Lebanese nation and government to overcome the critical conditions caused by the huge blast in Beirut.
Iran’s Judiciary Confirms Australian Envoy’s Meeting with Moore-Gilbert

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Judiciary Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmayeeli said on Wednesday that Australia’s ambassador to Tehran has held a meeting with the Australian-British prisoner, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who has been sentenced for harming Iran’s security and espionage, and has confirmed that she is in fully good health conditions.
Press Freedom Watchdog Says More Assaults on US Journalists in 2020 Than in Previous 3 Years Combined

TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of violent incidents directed at journalists has skyrocketed, according to the US Press Freedom Tracker, which announced heavy-handed police tactics during BLM protests have made 2020 a uniquely dangerous year for reporters.
Death Toll in Beirut Blast Tops 100, Number of Victims Expected to Rise as Hospitals Overflowed with Wounded

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Lebanese Red Cross George Kettaneh stated Wednesday at least 100 people were killed and several thousand more wounded in the massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday afternoon, while medical assistance to injured people has been disrupted due to the large number of patients and damaged or destroyed hospitals.
FM Zarif Reiterates Dispatching Assistance to Beirut

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined his country’s solidarity with Lebanon, adding that Tehran keeps sending aids to Beirut to help the people who are reeling from a devastating blast.
UK: Women’s Charities, Unions Call on Parliament to Suspend ‘Rape MP’ After Tories Refuse

TEHRAN (FNA)- Women’s charities and unions representing parliamentary staff called on parliament to bypass the Conservatives’ disciplinary procedures and suspend the Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape.
US Announces Highest-Level Visit to Taiwan in Decades, Risking China Anger

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior US official is to lead a delegation to Taiwan in the highest-level visit since 1979 to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and to “celebrate the shared values” of the two democracies – prompting China to urge the US not to “send the wrong signals to Taiwan secessionists”.