...concerning the W.H.O.: It's almost impossible to keep up with President Trump's misstatements and grievances.
This week, the whipping-boy has been the World Health Organization—the WHO.
As Nicholas Kristof wrote this morning, "many Americans know nothing about the W.H.O." We'll guess that's true of almost everyone. With that in mind, we thought we'd flesh out one point from Kristof's column.
Again, we'll quote from Kristof: "Its worldwide budget (of which the United States pays about one-fifth) is less than that of some American hospital centers."
That statement may seem puzzling. If so, it's because the WHO's budget is actually rather small on the global scale. So is our country's contribution to that budget.
We'll let NPR start to explain:
HUANG (4/15/20): The World Health Organization runs on a two-year budget cycle. For 2020 and 2021, its budget for carrying out its programs is $4.8 billion, or $2.4 billion per year.That $2.4 billion may seem like a lot, but it seems to be "around the size of [the budget of] a large U.S. hospital."
"The WHO has a budget around the size of a large U.S. hospital. It's about one quarter of the budget of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," says Lawrence Gostin, a law professor at Georgetown University and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, which is an independent agency that works with that WHO.
As you can see in the NPR report, our country has contributed slightly less than $500 million per year toward that overall spending in recent years. That's barely a rounding error within the federal budget.
President Trump has stirred up a major fuss concerning the WHO. Given the size of the fuss, we were surprised to see how small our annual outlay is.
For extra credit only: The NPR report contains a chart showing how much other countries (and organizations) have contributed to the WHO's recent budgets.
On a per capita basis, the contributions from Norway and Sweden are massively larger than ours. On a per capita basis, it looks to us like several other countries have been outspending us, with several others lagging behind.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a giant contributor. On a per capita basis, these two people (2) have pretty much gone through the roof.