The White House has officially moved to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO), a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, breaking ties with a global public health body in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. has submitted its withdrawal notification to the United Nations secretary-general, the official said. Withdrawal requires a year’s notice, so it will not go into effect until July 6, 2021, raising the possibility the decision could be reversed.
Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, tweeted that the administration informed Congress of the withdrawal plans.
“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,” the senator tweeted.
The formal notification of withdrawal concludes months of threats from the Trump administration to pull the United States out of the WHO, which is affiliated with the United Nations. President Trump has repeatedly assailed the organization for alleged bias toward China and its slow response to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.
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