The Trump administration made good on its vow to terminate U.S. participation in the WHO, which has been harshly criticized for its response to the corona crisis and its approach to China.
By Associated Press
On Monday, the Trump administration formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO), although the pullout won’t take effect until next year.
The withdrawal notification, delivered on Monday, makes good on President Donald Trump’s vow in late May to terminate U.S. participation in the WHO, which he has harshly criticized for its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused of bowing to Chinese influence.
The withdrawal notice was sent to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday and will take effect in a year, on July 6, 2021, the State Department and the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Guterres, in his capacity as depositary of the 1946 WHO constitution, “is in the process of verifying with the World Health Organization whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said.
Under the terms of the withdrawal, the U.S. must meet its financial obligations to the WHO before it can be finalized. The U.S., which is the agency’s largest donor and provides it with more than $400 million per year.
In late May, less than two weeks after warning the WHO that it had 30 days to reform or lose U.S. support, Trump announced his administration was leaving the organization due to what he said was its inadequate response to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province late last year.
The president said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about an outbreak that has now killed more than 130,000 Americans.
“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said at the time. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship.”