Inside Story

Is the World Health Organization on life support?

Member states vote for investigation into handling of coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest challenges the World Health Organization (WHO) has ever faced.

It is also receiving both praise and criticism for how it is dealing with the crisis.

Critics say the WHO acted too slowly to declare a pandemic.

Its 194 member states have voted unanimously for an independent inquiry into the the global response to COVID-19 and the United Nations body’s role.

The WHO’s biggest donor, the United States, is also its loudest critic.

US President Donald Trump has accused the WHO of being a “puppet” of China, even though he himself praised the organisation and the Chinese government at the start of the outbreak.

So, what lessons should the WHO learn to prepare for the next pandemic?

Presenter: Bernard Smith


Kelley Lee – professor of global health policy at Simon Fraser University who also co-founded the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Change and Health

Jeremy Youde – specialist in global health politics and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth

Regina Osih – medical doctor and infectious disease specialist at the Aurum Institute