Trump slams NYTimes for fake news on USA role in breastfeeding proposal

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The resolution ended up passing, though the US did succeed in getting the language altered slightly.

But more than a dozen participants from several countries-most requesting anonymity out of fear of U.S. retaliation-told the Times that the American officials surprised health experts and fellow delegates alike by fiercely opposing the resolution.

"The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out", Trump tweeted.

Although the USA and many other countries promote a "breast is best" policy, many mothers are unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons like medical challenges, insufficient maternity leave, or inability to afford time away from work often required for exclusive breastfeeding.

Finally, the Russian delegation stepped in as the resolution's sponsor.

The Times reported that the USA delegation threatened other nations, by suggesting that the US would implement trade measures with the objective of punishing them, citing more than a dozen participants from several of the countries present.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which said it did not threaten Ecuador, defended its decision to push back against the resolution.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, the lead agency in negotiations on the resolution, defended the USA opposition to the measure, saying that it would impede women's access to vital baby formula when breastfeeding is not an option. "Many women are not able to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, these women should not be stigmatized; they should be equally supported with information and access to alternatives for the health of themselves and their babies".

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"Malnutrition and poverty are the precise settings where you absolutely do need to breastfeed, because that's the setting where access to safe and clean water for reconstituting powdered formula is often impossible to find", Dr. Michele Barry, director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health in the Stanford School of Medicine, told The New York Times in response to Trump's tweet.

"And now the U.S. Gov is against breastfeeding in favor of formula companies", a DailyKos story blared. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

The State Department declined to comment to the Times, saying it could not remark on private diplomatic discussions.

The confrontation was the latest example of the Trump administration siding with corporate interests on numerous public health and environmental issues. It also pushed, successfully, to get statements supporting soda taxes removed from guidelines for countries dealing with skyrocketing obesity rates.

Hundreds of government delegates at the assembly expected the resolution to be approved swiftly.

The Americans also sought, unsuccessfully, to thwart a World Health Organization effort aimed at helping poor countries obtain access to lifesaving medicines.

A 2016 report in the medical journal The Lancet estimated that 823,000 child deaths around the world could be prevented each year through universal breastfeeding.

The United States tried to stop a pro-breastfeeding resolution at the United Nations, but ultimately failed. Among the myriad issues discussed at these annual meetings are policies and initiatives related to infant nutrition, breastfeeding, and breast milk substitutes, topics that gained prominence in the Assembly in the 1980s.

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