SAIPAN, 08 JULY 2020 (KUAM NEWS) — U. S President Donald Trump announcing that he will pull the United States out of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will have rippling effects in CNMI.

It’s a move that impacts the Mariana Islands and other Pacific nations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Losing that will be significant for us,” CNMI hospital Chief Executive Esther Muna said adding that the ripple effect washes over the Marianas.

“I can only say that it is sad news for us here because especially of the closeness, the proximity of assistance,” she said. “When there is a need for help we pick up the phone with WHO and they come here within how many hours. It is very quick because they know how critical response is.”

Muna, who is also the president of the Pacific Islands Health Officers Association, says that it was just last year that Micronesia got a direct seat at the Western Pacific Region Office’s national meeting.

The WHO was also instrumental in increasing access to supplies for the COVID-response.

“So it was through their collaboration that allowed us to get more testing kits and supplies for us to do here,” Muna said. 

Lieutenant Governor Arnold Palacios echoes the concern.

“I am sure that Esther is going to have to figure out where to fill in the gaps if this thing goes through next year and it does not get rescinded but we are where we are at now and we take a look at what the implications are,” he said…. PACNEWS

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