President Donald Trump has formally withdrawn the United States from the World Health Organization, making good on threats over the UN body’s response to the coronavirus, a senator said Tuesday.
“Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the US from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic,” Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote on Twitter.
Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic.— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 7, 2020
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.
US confirms notice of withdrawal from WHO
A State Department spokesperson and another official confirmed the news, saying that the United States told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the WHO’s biggest contributor will leave effective July 6, 2021.
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In April, President Trump announced a suspension of US funding to WHO because he said it had covered up the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak in China before it spread around the world.
According to Trump, the WHO prevented transparency over the outbreak and the United States – the UN body’s biggest funder which provided $400 million last year – will now “discuss what to do with all that money that goes to the WHO.”
“With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America’s generosity has been put to the best use possible.”
In a related development, WHO on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.