John Oliver breaks down Trump vs. the World Health Organization

John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver examined the importance of the World Health Organization in the upcoming U.S. presidential election

With a little over two weeks until the election, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is taking a hard look at just what is at stake this year. Sunday night’s show featured a piece on the World Health Organization and why President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it could have severe consequences.

President Trump has repeatedly called out the WHO during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The president has accused the organization of colluding with China and displaying a lack of transparency especially as it related to the outbreak of COVID-19.

As a result, President Trump has started the process to withdraw the U.S. from the WHO. This will go into effect in July 2021, meaning the winner of this year’s election can either reverse course or ensure the country steps away from the United Nations agency.

For some critics of the president, this gesture is seen as his administration seeking to pass responsibility for its failures onto some else. While acknowledging it does have some flaws, John Oliver also explained why treating the WHO as a scapegoat could be a mistake:

John Oliver defends the World Health Organization against President Trump

After explaining in broad terms what the World Health Organization does, John Oliver turned his attention to defending the agency from President Donald Trump. The Last Week Tonight host admits that the WHO has opened itself up to criticism for past actions. But in this instance, President Trump doesn’t quite have the facts to back up his claims.

Oliver notes that a majority of WHO funding comes from voluntary contributions in which a member nation can dictate what the funds are used for. China chooses not to donate a massive amount of money, something President Trump has used to argue about how unfairly the U.S. is treated. But as Oliver revealed, the U.S. amount is a direct result of a policy put into place by President Ronald Reagan.

The segment then pushes back against President Trump’s claim that the WHO is deferential to China during the current pandemic. Instead, the comedian makes the case that the WHO and the rest of the world were unaware of COVID-19’s severity at the start of the outbreak. Oliver points to President Trump’s repeated praise of China’s response as evidence.

Oliver wraps up the piece by laying out the case against a U.S. alternative to the WHO. President Trump’s response to the pandemic doesn’t inspire confidence around the world that the country could address another health crisis. Oliver compares severing ties with the WHO during a pandemic to getting rid of lifeboats while the ship is sinking.

For Last Week Tonight, it’s another example of President Trump destroying something that he doesn’t understand, doesn’t care about, or doesn’t think benefits him personally. It’s another reason for Oliver to highlight the importance of the election and the potential for the U.S. to repair its foreign relations.

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What did you think of this segment from Last Week Tonight? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.