When Donald Trump takes the world stage, the world trembles. President Trump’s disastrous European tour was foreshadowed by the news that earlier this year, the Trump Administration pushed the World Health Organization to weaken or trash a resolution meant to encourage breastfeeding and to minimize the inaccurate marketing of substitutes.
According to several officials at the WHO meeting, once Trump’s delegation was unsuccessful in removing language that affirmed support for breastfeeding, they turned to bullying and threatening other countries that were considering introducing the wording. According to the New York Times,
“The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the initiative, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorian government quickly acquiesced.”
A British health policy advocate at the meeting said, “What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health.”
But that’s Donald Trump’s way. He’s the hostage-taker-in-chief.
Whether it’s infants at the border or at their mother’s breast, Donald Trump sees foreign policy as a vehicle for advancing his own business interests, and to funnel more wealth to his friends and financial backers. The powerful infant formula industry has its hooks in Donald Trump—just as it’s been able to influence scores of U.S. politicians and agencies.
Donald Trump is guilty of collusion—with the formula industry. Together, they are perpetuating a system of racial disparities that harm women and children. Because women of color are one of the most vulnerable populations in the country, they are easy to target with factors that make it impossible for them to actually breastfeed.
Both the WHO and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that infants consuming nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life. Donald Trump may not respect science, or value public health—but we do. NOW calls on women to demand that U.S. officials stop ignoring decades of research that proves breastfeeding is best for children.