The Trump administration has notified Congress and the United Nations that the US is formally withdrawing from the World Health Organization (WHO), a move that comes amid a rising number of coronavirus cases in the country over the past week.
The United States will leave WHO on July 6, 2021, the United Nations said on Tuesday, after receiving notification of the decision by President Donald Trump, who has accused the agency of becoming a puppet for China during the coronavirus pandemic.
The withdrawal has drawn criticism from various organisations. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed Tuesday to reverse the decision “on (his) first day” if elected.
Trump, who announced the decision over a month ago, has to give one-year notice of the U.S. withdrawal from the Geneva-based body and pay all Washington’s dues under a 1948 joint resolution of the U.S. Congress. The United States currently owes the WHO more than $200 million in assessed contributions, according to the WHO website.
After more than 70 years of membership, the United States moved to quit the WHO amid escalating tensions with China over the coronavirus pandemic. The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
The WHO has denied assertions by Trump that it promoted Chinese “disinformation” about the virus.