Trump gives notice of withdrawal to World Health Organization
President Donald Trump has submitted a notice of withdrawal from the World Health Organization to the United Nations secretary-general. The notice states the U.S. will officially leave the WHO effective July 2021.
A U.N. spokesman acknowledged that the organization had received the U.S. notice to withdraw.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Trump said. “The world is now suffering as a result of the misfeasance of the Chinese government.”
Leaders on Capitol Hill were also notified of the president’s actions on Tuesday and both Democrats and Republicans had concerns.
“Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone,” tweeted New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D).
The chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander (R), said that holding the WHO accountable should not be done until after the pandemic ends.
“I disagree with the president’s decision. Certainly, there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it,” Alexander said.
The Republican added that withdrawing U.S. membership could cause issues with vaccine trials and make it difficult to work with other countries to stop future viruses before they get to the U.S.
“If the administration has specific recommendations for reforms of the WHO, it should submit those recommendations to Congress, and we can work together to make those happen,” Alexander added.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would rejoin the WHO on his first day in the White House if elected.
“Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health. On my first day as President, I will rejoin the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage,” Biden tweeted.
Trump first announced his decision to consider leaving the WHO back in May. He submitted a list of reforms he’d need to see in order to stay involved with the organization and had yet to see those reforms take shape.
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