In response to President Donald Trump’s UN General Debate remarks, Oxfam America President & CEO Abby Maxman made the following statement:
“President Trump took the UN stage to settle scores and shift blame as he sought to spin an alternate version of his administration’s response to the pandemic.
“President Trump condemned the ‘one-sided’ Paris Agreement as the US battles devastating wildfires, bragged about promoting peace while federal agents attack protesters in US streets, touted women’s rights while slashing longstanding US support for women’s health programs, and extolled his COVID-19 response as the US surpasses a death toll of 200,000.
“Today, President Trump pitched his vision of a global order driven by narrow, competing national interests - one at odds with the UN Charter agreed 75 years ago to pick up the pieces from the Second World War. The UN was founded to remind us that no matter our differences, we're all on the same side when it comes to global problems like COVID-19 and the climate crisis. When humanity is faced with challenges that ignore national borders, there are no one-sided deals.
“As this global pandemic has only reinforced, America can only be great - and safe - when we work with others to solve the problems facing humanity.
“An effective COVID-19 response must be founded on scientific evidence, cooperation, and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in society. But President Trump prioritizes the health of the markets over people and political spin instead of scientific information, deferring to the wealthiest 1% instead of the rest of us. His lack of leadership has cost American lives and delays the much-needed recovery.
“While a safe and effective vaccine can be a way out of this nightmare, and researchers funded by the US government are racing to find it, making sure vaccines are available and affordable to everyone is equally important. COVID-19 anywhere is COVID-19 everywhere.
“The Trump administration claims to have great pride for its leadership at the UN and as an agent of peace and human rights around the globe, while simultaneously undermining some of its most vital tenets and goals. Indeed, the world listens closely, but what they have heard from the Trump administration has undermined our role as a leader and albeit flawed, proponent of peace in the world. Peace stems not from strength but from mutual respect and a shared commitment to rules that benefit everyone.
“Solutions to the poverty, inequality, and injustice so many are experiencing both here in the United States and around the world can only be found by working together for shared progress, not by turning inward or trying to make gains at the expense of families and communities elsewhere. We will prosper together, or suffer apart.”