The term ‘American exceptionalism’ acquired new meaning under President Donald Trump. The latest blow to this idea comes by Mr Trump’s announcement of leaving the World Health Organisation (WHO). Trump’s move is a severe blow to the WHO – as the COVID-19 has started claiming more lives than before and is yet to reach its peak in many countries. Many people hoped that global pressure would force Mr Trump to review his earlier decision of suspension of funding to the global health body.

President Trump’s latest pronouncement indicates that he is blaming China and WHO for the failure to curb the pandemic. America’s elimination of cooperation with the WHO will have far-reaching consequences in the long run, both abroad and domestically. The lack of funding will weaken the capabilities of the WHO in the fight against the COVID-19. Mr Trump perhaps forgets that his decision goes against the consensus that only a collective response can defeat the pandemic. Adopting isolationism against the coronavirus is, perhaps, the most erroneous of choices that the US president has made so far. The move is akin to shooting oneself in the foot, alongside condemning the rest of the world by choosing to strike one’s own path.

Meanwhile, the WHO and a group of thirty-seven countries – anticipating the US blow to the body – are working together for common ownership of vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tools to fight the virus. The alliance has the potential of absorbing the blow that Trump made to the WHO. The union is much needed in a time when saving lives must take precedence over anything.

Besides, the alliance will prove instrumental in helping the developing nations in reducing the impact of the virus. Also, the union is a practical demonstration of taking collective steps in fighting the infection. All developed countries lamenting Mr Trump’s decision must welcome and support the newly formed association morally and financially.