The United States will leave the World Health Organization on July 6, 2021, the United Nations said on Tuesday after receiving formal notification of the decision by President Donald Trump more than a month ago, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Trump had to give one-year notice of the U.S. withdrawal from the Geneva-based U.N. agency under a 1948 joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, which also obliges Washington to pay financial support. 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 after Trump accused it of becoming a puppet of China amid the coronavirus pandemic. The virus first emerged in China’s Wuhan city late last year.
“The Secretary-General ... is in the process of verifying with the World Health Organization whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Trump had halted funding for the 194-member organization in April, then in a May 18 letter gave the WHO 30 days to commit to reforms. He announced the United States would quit less than two weeks later.
The WHO is an independent international body that works with the United Nations. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that the WHO is “absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against COVID-19.”
Trump has long scorned multilateralism as he focuses on an “America First” agenda. Since taking office, he has quit the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. cultural agency, a global accord to tackle climate change and the Iran nuclear deal. He has also cut funding for the U.N. population fund and the U.N. agency that aids Palestinian refugees.