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Press Room

Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies, on President Trump’s announcing U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization:

“This global emergency is far from over. The U.S. alone has lost 100,000 lives from this pandemic, a burden that is immeasurable to our health and our economy. Any decision to terminate the U.S. relationship with the WHO will only stall the global collaboration and cooperation needed to control the virus. There will be plenty of time for assigning blame, but now is not that time. We cannot bear the risk of more lives at stake.”

“As Dr. Tom Frieden of our Resolves to Save Lives initiative stated earlier today, ‘We helped create WHO. We are part of it. It is part of the world, and turning our back on WHO makes us and the world less safe. Now, China and every other country in the world will have a veto at WHO, and the U.S. won’t. This will make the U.S. more vulnerable.’” 

“At this unprecedented time and in the months ahead, we must use every resource available to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the WHO plays a critical and lifesaving role in our global response. We urge the administration to reconsider this decision.”

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat.

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About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives is a five-year, $225 million initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is part of the global organization Vital Strategies. To find out more visit: or Twitter @ResolveTSL.

Media Contact:

Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies:; +1.914.424.3356

Erin Sykes, Resolve to Save Lives:; +1.646.612.0001