Marcia Neugebauer, (credit Suzanne Ferguson)

Marcia Neugebauer, Moderator

Wednesday, May 12, 2021,

2:30-4:00 pm,

a Zoom Webinar * and Discussion


This sixth, and probably last, of the ASA 2021 “Great Decisions” presentations is based on a video and an essay provided by the non-partisan Foreign Policy Association as well as on later news articles about the response of the World Health Organization (WHO) to Covid-19.  The annual program is designed to inform people and encourage discussion and participation in foreign policy issues.


For more than a year our lives have been overwhelmingly impacted by the pandemic named COVID-19. Most of us are highly aware of restrictions imposed both locally, around the country, and in some countries abroad. We’ve read about the development and delivery of vaccines as well as about some of the uncertainties about them, but the role and actions of the WHO have been highly controversial. Donald Trump stopped US government funding of and withdrew the US membership in WHO, while Joe Biden reversed those actions soon after he took office. This webinar will present some of the history of the WHO and then set out what the WHO did, why it did it, and arguments about whether its actions were good or bad.


The program’s moderator will be Marcia Neugebauer. She agreed to take on this assignment, not because she has any special insight into health-care matters, but because she is the ASA Vice President for Programs and thought this important topic should be included in the webinar series. Marcia is a physicist with a BA from Cornell, an MS from the University of Illinois, and an honorary Doctorate in Physics from the University of New Hampshire. Her scientific field is space-plasma physics with focus on the solar wind and comets. After a 45-year career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she is currently a Research Associate at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Written by Marcia Neugebauer, Academy Village resident


*For access to the Zoom Webinar, please write



May 12: “Great Decisions: The World Health Organization’s Response to COVID 19”