Trump officially pulls US out of WHO

US president, Donald Trump
Tochi Juliet

President Donald Trump on Tuesday formally started the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization, making threats to deprive the UN body of its top funding source over its response to the coronavirus.

The notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, was sent Monday to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Stéphane Dujarric, the UN spokesman, told reporters in New York on Tuesday that the secretariat had received the withdrawal letter.

In line with conditions set when the WHO was set up in 1948, the United States can leave within one year but must meet its remaining assessed financial obligations.

The ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. James Comer, called the withdrawal “the right decision.”

“Until the WHO undergoes some serious reforms, it doesn’t deserve our money or our membership,” he said in a statement.

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, condemned Trump’s action. Biden stated that he would reverse the decision on his first day in office if elected.

He said Americans are safer “when engaged in strengthening global health. On my first day as president, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage”.

Similarly, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi decried the move.

Pelosi called Trump’s withdrawal “an act of true senselessness. With millions of lives at risk, the president is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus”.

In late May, Trump said that China exerted "total control" over the WHO and accused the UN body led by Tedros, an Ethiopian doctor and diplomat, of failing to implement reforms.

"We will be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and directing those funds to other global public health charities.

The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government," he said, adding that China had "instigated a global pandemic".

The president accused China of pressurising the WHO to "mislead the world" about the virus, without giving evidence for his allegations.

"China has total control over the World Health Organization," the president said.

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