Trump has officially begun to withdraw the US from the World Health Organization amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Donald Trump’s administration has officially begun to withdraw the United States of America from the World Health Organization, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across many states in the US
US congress received a formal notification of the President’s decision on Tuesday, which is over a month after Donald Trump announced his intention to end the relationship the United States has with the WHO and went on to blast the international health institution as a tool of China. The Trump administration said that the withdrawal would take effect on the 6th of July, in 2021.
This comes after the Office for National Statistics only 22% of people testing positive in the UK for the coronavirus reported having symptoms on the day of their test.
Democrats in the nation have said that the decision from the Republican President was irresponsible and ill-considered, saying that it comes as the COVID-19 pandemic is raging and international cooperation to confront this crisis is vital.
Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Twitter after receiving the White House’s notification:
“This won’t protect American lives or interests – it leaves Americans sick & America alone,”
“To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice.”
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said he would rejoin the WHO immediately if he wins. The former vice president tweeted:
“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,”
Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, has said that they had received reports of the US’ official notification. “We have no further information on this at this stage,” he stated.
Donald Trump has said that China “has total control” over the World Health Organization, even though the country contributes far less funding to its budget than the US does. The United States has been contributing approximately $450 million dollars in funding per year.
Critics have said that Trump’s attacks on the WHO are an attempt to push the blame of his own mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and one that will end up hurting the United States. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said:
“Deflecting blame onto the WHO won’t reverse the administration’s mistakes or undo the suffering our country has endured,”
“The president needs to get serious about stopping this pandemic’s lethal spread by restoring our membership in the WHO, ramping up testing, and encouraging everyone to practice social distancing and wear masks.”
This comes after the President of the Royal Society has said that refusing to wear a mask in public during the COVID-19 pandemic should become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving or not wearing a seatbelt.
Public health expert and executive vice president of the Center for Global Development think tank, Amanda Glassman, has said that the world doesn’t just face today’s threat of the coronavirus, but also the treat of more pandemics that could occur in the future, which are now more likely as a result of increased viral transmission between humans and animals.
“Withdrawal is counterintuitive at best and dangerous to human life at worst. The US Congress should immediately explore what power it has to prevent this from happening,” Glassman said