The Trump administration formally notified Congress that the United States has withdrawn from the World Health Organization on Tuesday.
The U.S. sent the official withdrawal notice to the United Nations secretary-general, but the process takes a year, so it will become official in 2021.
The president suspended U.S. payments to the WHO in April and said the administration would be reviewing further actions to be taken.
“Today I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump said at the time.
The president has been excoriating the WHO for its missteps in controlling and responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Critics of the WHO say it has been complicit in China’s effort to hide the country’s responsibility in spreading the virus.
Democrats respond angrily
Democratic leaders excoriated the president for the decision at a time when the U.S. is experiencing a surge of coronavirus cases.
“This move is reckless, short-sighted, and surrenders what was left of America’s leadership on the world stage,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
“With millions of lives at risk, the President is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus,” responded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“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,” replied Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
Biden promises to rejoin the WHO
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden responded by promising to rejoin the controversial organization if he gets elected in November.
“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,” tweeted the official Biden account.
Here’s a news report about the announcement:
Trump officially moves to withdraw US from World Health Organization