Trump begins process of U.S. withdrawal from World Health Organization
The United States (US) will leave the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 6, 2021, whose Coronavirus tackling response has been criticized by President Donald Trump.
Trump has to give one-year notice of the US withdrawal from the World Health Organization and pay all Washington’s dues under a 1948 joint resolution of the US Congress.
The US currently owes WHO more than $200 million in assessed contributions, according to the WHO website.
After more than 70 years of membership, the United States moved to quit the organization amid escalating tensions with China over the coronavirus pandemic. The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019.
The WHO has denied assertions by Trump that it promoted Chinese “disinformation” about the virus.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s official withdrawal as “an act of true senselessness as WHO coordinates the global fight against COVID-19.”
“With millions of lives at risk, the President is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus,” the leader posted on Twitter.
So far there have been nearly 12 million cases of the coronavirus and more than 540,000 known deaths worldwide, according to a worldwide tally, with about 25% of both cases and deaths in the United States.
Trump’s decision could be overturned before it takes effect if he is defeated by his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in a November election.
Trump had halted funding for the 194-member organization in April, then in a May 18 letter gave the health organization 30 days to commit to reforms. He announced the US would quit less than two weeks later.
Vice President Mike Pence, asked in an interview whether it was the right time to break with the WHO, said: “It’s absolutely the right time.”
“The World Health Organization let the world down … There have to be consequences to this,” Pence said.
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