Home / World / U.S. Begins to Withdraw from WHO Amid Mounting Criticisms, Surging COVID-19 Cases
US begins to withdraw from WHO amid mounting criticisms, surging COVID-19 cases

U.S. Begins to Withdraw from WHO Amid Mounting Criticisms, Surging COVID-19 Cases

WASHINGTON – The United States has officially moved to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) as its national COVID-19 case count approaches 3 million with more than 130,000 deaths.
On Tuesday, Congress received formal notification of President Donald Trump’s decision, Democratic Senator Bob Menéndez, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted.
“Calling Trump’s response to COVID chaotic and inconsistent does not do it justice. This will not protect the lives or interests of Americans, but will leave Americans sick and lonely,” Menendez said.
Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, confirmed Tuesday that the United States had submitted its withdrawal notice to Guterres on Monday.
According to the spokesperson, the United States has been a part of the WHO Constitution since June 1948, and its participation in the organization was accepted by the World Health Assembly “with certain conditions established by the United States for its eventual withdrawal from the WHO.”
“These conditions include giving a one-year notice and fully complying with the payment of the assessed financial obligations,” Dujarric said.
Trump and his administration have repeatedly attacked WHO for months and threatened to cut ties to the organization. In mid-April, she announced that her administration would stop U.S. funds from the international health agency.
The administration measure “has few supporters, even Republicans in Congress,” Lauren Clason said in a story published in Roll Call, a newspaper and website published in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Senate Health Committee, Education, Labor and Pension Commission chairman Lamar Alexander, a senior Republican, said in a statement.
“Withdrawing American membership could, among other things, interfere with the clinical trials that are essential for vaccine development that citizens of the United States, as well as others around the world, need,” said Alexander, the senior senator for Tennessee.
According to an article published by The Hill, public health experts and Democrats have also warned that the decision may be “myopic and could undermine the global response to the pandemic.”
“The timing of the administration’s decision has generated intense scrutiny and is likely to raise questions about the United States’ involvement in global efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine,” the Hill report said.
“Leaving our seat at the table leaves the United States out of global decision-making to fight the virus and global efforts to develop and access vaccines and therapies, leaving us more vulnerable to COVID-19 and diminishing our position as a leader in global health, ” Thomas File, Jr., president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said in a statement.
“This decision is irresponsible, reckless and completely incomprehensible. Withdrawing from @WHO amid the biggest public health crisis of our lives is a self-destructive movement. This sloppy election will hurt more Americans,” tweeted Eric Swalwell, 1 district representative of the California Congress in the House.
In the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, different groups in Washington have taken different positions on WHO membership, in the context of the upcoming general elections scheduled for November.
However, when Trump pushed the withdrawal of the WHO, Joe Biden, the alleged Democratic presidential candidate, said he would join the WHO immediately if he wins.
“Americans are safer when the United States is committed to strengthening global health. On my first day as president, I will join @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage,” the former vice president tweeted.
Meanwhile, critics said that behind Trump’s attacks on the WHO is “an attempt to deflect the blame for his mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak, and one that will end up hurting the United States,” a U.S. report said.
“Shifting blame to WHO will not reverse administration mistakes or reverse the suffering our country has suffered,” said Rep. Eliot Engel for the 16th congressional district in New York.
“The president must take seriously the halting of the lethal spread of this pandemic by restoring our membership in the WHO, increasing the evidence and encouraging everyone to practice social distancing and wearing masks,” said Engel, also chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Amanda Glassman, public health expert and executive vice president of the Cen study center
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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