President Donald Trump has formally notified the United Nations and Congress of his country’s withdrawal from the World Health Organisation (WHO), effective July 6, 2021.
UN spokesman, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, confirmed to newsmen in New York on Tuesday that the secretariat had received the U.S.’ withdrawal letter.
Dujarric said withdrawal conditions included a one-year notice and fulfillment of full financial obligations.
A leading Democratic senator, Mr Robert Menendez, also confirmed in a tweet that the U.S. Congress received the president’s letter.
“Congress received notification that POTUS (President of the United States) officially withdrew the US from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic.
“To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic and incoherent doesn’t do it justice.
“This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick and America alone,” he wrote.
The move is coming almost three months after Trump accused the WHO of being a puppet of China in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
He accused China of covering up the COVID-19 outbreak on its soil before it was too late to contain it, and WHO of keeping quiet under pressure from China.
“China has total control over the health organisation,” the president had said.
He announced suspension of funding to the global health body, including a threat to pull the U.S. out of the organisation and redirecting his country’s financial contributions elsewhere.
The U.S. is the largest single financial contributor to the WHO, providing not less than 400 million dollars (N150 billion) in 2019