Bahrain Takes All the COVID-19 Tests But Doesn’t Give a Cent to the WHO

The pandemic is reaching all corners of the world and the United Nations Secretary General is sounding the sirens about poor countries in Africa being at great risk of being overwhelmed by the virus. UN Secretary-General António Guterres saidWe are as strong as the weakest health systems. Protecting the developing world is not a matter of charity or generosity but a question of enlightened self-interest.

He might want to address the rich Persian Gulf monarchies more directly.

Most of the COVID-19 tests have been administered by large countries like India, and hard hit countries like the United States, Italy and Spain. The table below shows the top twenty countries where tests have been administered.

Deaths/ Total Tests/ Population
Country 1M pop Tests 1M pop
USA 278 12,253,346 37,045 330,769,370
Russia 19 7,147,014 48,977 145,927,122
Germany 97 3,147,771 37,584 83,752,125
Italy 529 3,041,366 50,294 60,472,166
Spain 593 3,037,840 64,977 46,752,654
UK 513 2,682,716 39,543 67,843,268
India 2 2,302,792 1,671 1,378,344,732
Turkey 50 1,650,135 19,591 84,227,597
UAE 23 1,600,923 162,108 9,875,638
France 433 1,384,633 21,218 65,256,433
Canada 155 1,312,613 34,816 37,701,865
Australia 4 1,062,034 41,708 25,463,408
S. Korea 5 753,211 14,693 51,263,999
Brazil 79 735,224 3,462 212,376,810
Iran 84 701,640 8,367 83,859,705
Belgium 784 696,840 60,157 11,583,602
Peru 85 661,132 20,086 32,914,644
Portugal 121 652,497 63,969 10,200,144
Poland 25 636,046 16,804 37,851,440
Saudi Arabia 9 601,954 17,324 34,745,848

One country stands out in the top 20 – the United Arab Emirates. A country with fewer than 10 million people has already had over 1.6 million tests performed. It amounts to a whopping 162,108 tests per million people, or over five times the average of 31,700 per million for the other top countries.

This rich Muslim kingdom is not an outlier. Nearby Bahrain has had 143,508 tests per 1 million people.

While the UAE does contribute to the World Health Organization (less than 1.0% of WHO’s budget), Bahrain gives virtually nothing – less than Sudan, Mali, Eritrea, Uganda, Lesotho and many other African countries.

Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman have run 56,243, 17,324 and 11,985 tests per million people, respectively, a fraction of the rate of Bahrain, but at least each has contributed to the WHO.

Bahrain has one of the highest GDP per capita‘s in the world and has performed among the highest number of COVID-19 tests in the world, but barely gives a penny to the World Health Organization. Forget select vilification of the US for pulling funding of WHO because of the organization’s failures in handling the pandemic; how about a simple mention that it’s time for the rich oil kingdoms to contribute their share.


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1 thought on “Bahrain Takes All the COVID-19 Tests But Doesn’t Give a Cent to the WHO

  1. Pingback: Where the Virus is Killing the Most: Countries with Socialist Leaders | FirstOneThrough

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