Trump Pushes For The U.S. To Terminate Its Membership With WHO

Trump Pushes For The U.S. To Terminate Its Membership With WHO

Courtesy of REUTERS

The Trump administration informed the United Nations that the U.S. will be withdrawing from the World Health Organization, after spending 72 years as a member.

Although it doesn’t come into effect until July 2021, the rules of the organization say that a country must give a one-year notice and pay any debt they may owe. According to Pien Huang, with NPR, the U.S. owed $198 million as of June 30. This number already adds to the large amount of debt that the country is in, separate from their unpaid membership dues with WHO.

Trump has criticized the organization and their work concerning COVID-19. In a public statement he made on May 30, he claimed that WHO has been pressured by China to “mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.” He went on to say that he’s requested transparency from WHO and China regarding the “Wuhan virus”, but the organization refused to act.

He’s received criticism for this act from medical associations, lawmakers, and from his opponent, Joe Biden. Biden sees this as a way to gain more support of Americans in his race for presidency.

“On my first day as President, I will rejoin the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage,” Biden tweeted after notification that Trump pushed to withdraw the country from WHO.

The “leadership” that Biden refers to is that the U.S. would have no voice within the organization. The top medical experts of the country will no longer be involved in discussions concerning health issues such as the current pandemic that we’re in. Opposers also argue that Americans are now left alone and at risk, as the U.S. wouldn’t have initial access to vaccines that would be made to battle COVID-19.

The U.S. is the largest contributor to the organization, according to a letter written to Congress, donating $450 million annually. Withdrawing from WHO would pull funding from progress that the U.S. has been leading with health issues such as polio and HIV/AIDS. Defunding these major illnesses can create cases to rise again.

Hundreds of experts in health and law are retaliating against Trump’s act, stating that it would costs American lives and foreign lives. The world is fighting COVID-19, a global pandemic, and the U.S. to pulling back from an organization aimed at improving world health leaves uncertainty for the future.

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