Washington, United States:
President Donald Trump officially began withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization to counter threats to the UN Panel's response to the coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday.
The United States makes the greatest financial contribution to WHO – which leads the fight against global diseases from polio to measles to mental health – but they are increasingly found in Trump's crosshairs as the corona virus takes a heavy toll.
After threatening to suspend $ 400 million in annual U.S. contributions and then announce a withdrawal, Trump officially informed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he had started withdrawing from the U.S., a spokesman said of the State Department.
The withdrawal will take effect in a year – on July 6, 2021 – and Joe Biden, Trump's alleged democratic opponent, will almost certainly stop him and stay in the WHO if he defeats Trump in the November election.
Guterres spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed that the United States has given up its resignation.
Under the terms set by the United States' accession to the World Health Organization in 1948, Washington must wait one year to withdraw – and honor its remaining financial obligations, Dujarric said.
"Describing Trump's response to COVID as chaotic and incoherent does not do it justice," said Senator Robert Menendez, top Democrat in the Foreign Relations Committee, who said Congress had been notified.
"This won't protect the lives or interests of Americans – it leaves Americans sick and America alone," he said.
Trump accused the World Health Organization of prejudice against China and said it ignored early signs of the deadly virus being transmitted from person to person.
While many public health advocates criticize WHO, they ask what other powers the World Federation had besides working with China, where COVID-19 was first discovered late last year.
Critics say Trump is trying to distract criticism from his own handling of the pandemic in the United States, which has by far suffered the highest deaths of any nation.