Our story begins with a detailed New York Times report about the Trump Administration rebuking the World Health Assembly in a move that, stop me if you’ve heard this before, indisputably benefits large companies:
A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.
Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.
The aggressiveness on display was pretty shocking, as Paste politics editor, Shane Ryan pointed out.
Our commander-in-tweet could feel the outrage building, so he got mad online in return.
The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out. The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don't believe women should be denied access to formula. Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
However, as the New York Times' resident Trump Whisperer Maggie Haberman highlighted, while “calling out” the report, Trump actually confirmed its contents. The American delegation was fighting to include the interests of formula manufacturers, even going so far as to threaten normal trade with countries like Ecuador. Now, this is a complicated issue that my childless man brain is simply not qualified to opine on, so here is Republican #NeverTrump operative Liz Mair to explain why access to formula is important.
So while there is a reasonable position on Trump’s side of the argument, for it to manifest, we have to trust that Trump and his mantourage of advisers can articulate the need as eloquently as Mair does above. Given that Trump’s entire governing style revolves around selling the entire federal bureaucracy to the highest bidder, it’s difficult to see this bizarre tirade at the UN as anything other than another episode of America’s ongoing descent into full-blown kleptocracy.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.