The Trump administration has officially informed the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, but the pullout will not take effect until next year, which means it may be rescinded by a new government or if circumstances change. The notice of withdrawal makes good the pledge of President Donald Trump to terminate U.S. involvement in the WHO at the terminate of May, which he sharply criticized for his response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused of bowing to the power of China.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has said that he supports the WHO and the Democrats have suggested that if he defeats Trump in November, he would reverse the decision. Trump is trailing Biden in several polls and has tried to divert criticism of the handling of the virus by his administration through harsh attacks on China and the WHO. The notice of withdrawal was sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday and will come into effect on Tuesday in a year, on July 6, 2021, the State Department and the UN said.
Elizabeth Cousens, President of the UN Foundation, called the move “short-sighted, unnecessary and unambiguously dangerous. WHO is the only body which can lead and coordinate the global response to COVID-19. The termination of the U.S. relationship would undermine the global effort to beat this virus-threatening us all.