Ambassador Henshaw’s Op-Ed on COVID-19
U.S. leadership in the global battle against COVID-19 is rooted in a history of foreign assistance that is strong today and will endure for decades. Every day, new U.S. technical and material assistance arrives in hospitals and labs around the world. These efforts, in turn, build on a long-standing foundation of American expertise, generosity, and planning that is unmatched in history.
America funds nearly 40% of the world’s global health assistance programs, totaling $140 billion in investments over the past 20 years. The United States was one of the first countries to help the Chinese people as soon as reports emerged from Wuhan of another outbreak. In early January, the United States government offered immediate technical assistance to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control. In the first week of February, the U.S. transported nearly 18 tons of medical supplies to Wuhan provided by Samaritan’s Purse, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and others.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. government has committed nearly $500 million in assistance to date. This funding will improve public health education, protect healthcare facilities, and increase laboratory, disease surveillance, and rapid-response capacity in more than 60 of the world’s most at risk countries.
In Guinea, CDC and USAID are long-term partners with the Government of Guinea, and the programs and projects established in the health sector during the fight against Ebola continue to help Guinea more effectively battle the COVID-19 pandemic. All agencies in the U.S. Mission to Guinea stand united to help Guineans triumph over COVID-19. Through extensive training for health professionals, the donation of equipment and vehicles, as well as campaigns to increase public awareness and enable journalists to accurately disseminate the latest information to Guineans, we continue to work with our partners to defeat this disease.
In Guinea and in countries throughout the world, we are building resilient health care systems that can prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks. We will we lead in defeating our shared pandemic enemy, and rise stronger in its wake.