NATIONAL NEWS

Trump Administration Begins Formal Withdrawal From World Health Organization

Jul 7, 2020, 1:54 PM
The Trump administration has notified Congress that it is formally withdrawing the United States fr...
The Trump administration has notified Congress that it is formally withdrawing the United States from the World Health Organization amid the coronavirus pandemic, multiple officials tell CNN. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The Trump administration has notified Congress and the United Nations that the United States is formally withdrawing from the World Health Organization, multiple officials tell CNN, a move that comes amid a rising number of coronavirus cases throughout the Americas in the last week alone.

Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tweeted the news Tuesday.

“Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the ⁦‪@WHO⁩in the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone,” he wrote.

A State Department official also confirmed that “the United States’ notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, has been submitted to the UN Secretary-General, who is the depository for the WHO.”

The letter addressed to the UN is very short, around three sentences, a source briefed on the correspondence told CNN, and it will trigger a one-year withdrawal timeline. However, this source also cautioned that they cannot confirm they saw the final version of the letter.

While lawmakers from both parties have long cited systemic problems with the WHO, many have also denounced the President’s decision to withdraw during a once-in-a-century global pandemic.

Despite alleging that the World Health Organization “enabled” the Chinese government’s sweeping cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic’s origins, members of the GOP China task force urged President Donald Trump last month to reconsider his decision to terminate relations with the international body, arguing that the US can do more to affect change as a member.

Among its current functions, the WHO is attempting to coordinate efforts to get personal safety and medical equipment, like ventilators, to hospitals around the world.

Some have warned that withdrawal in the current environment could also interfere with clinical trials essential for developing vaccines, as well as efforts to trace the spread of the virus globally.

Move comes as virus is surging

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus cases continues to surge across the US and in various countries around the world.

There are at least 2,953,423 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 130,546 people have died from the virus in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

On Monday, Johns Hopkins reported 17,346 new cases and 261 deaths. The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

Trump has repeatedly insisted that the rise of cases in the US is purely the result of increased testing, but a WHO official knocked down that claim on Monday.

WHO scientists and experts are scheduled to travel to China this weekend to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Tuesday.

Specifically, experts will be seeking to trace the narrative of how the coronavirus might have spread from the wild to possibly farm animals to humans, said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program.

Trump initially announced his intention to withdraw from WHO in May and has consistently accused the organization of aiding China in covering up the origins of the virus. He has also claimed that if the WHO had acted appropriately, he could have instituted a travel ban on people coming from China sooner.

Decision could be reversed if Biden wins election

The Trump administration has already diverted funding from the WHO and the process to formally withdraw will take a year to complete. Critics of the decision hope that the withdrawal decision will be reversed if Trump loses the presidential election in November.

“Whatever is done now can be reversed in the year to come, because it will not be final,” a UN diplomat told CNN Tuesday, pointing to how long the process of withdrawal will take.

Trump’s decision to permanently terminate the US relationship with the WHO follows a years-long pattern of railing against global organizations, with the President claiming that the US is being taken advantage of. The President has questioned US funding to the United Nations and NATO, withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and repeatedly criticized the World Trade Organization.

But health experts, US lawmakers and world leaders have expressed concern over defunding the organization amid a pandemic.

After Trump’s announcement in May, a WHO spokesperson told CNN, “We have no comment to offer at this point.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Plane collision at Dallas Air Show...
JAMIE STENGLE and JAKE BLEIBERG Associated Press

Report: No altitude advice before Dallas air show crash

A preliminary report from federal officials on a deadly midair collision at a Dallas air show says no guidance was given on altitudes before a World War II-era fighter plane crashed into a bomber.
1 day ago
emergency lights...
KEN RITTER Associated Press

Ex-con gets at least 18 years in dismembered body case in Vegas

An ex-convict who led police on a chase around Las Vegas before officers found the severed head and dismembered body of his friend in a stolen vehicle he was driving was sentenced Thursday to at least 18 years in prison.
1 day ago
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 11: Election workers open mail in ballots at the Maricopa County Tabula...
JONATHAN J. COOPER Associated Press

Arizona county certifies election after judge’s order

A rural Arizona county certified its midterm election results on Thursday, following the orders of a judge who ruled that Republican supervisors broke the law when they refused to sign off on the vote count by this week's deadline.
1 day ago
Lindsay Lohan thinks you should try Pilk.
(Pepsi)...
Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business

Pepsi wants you to drink soda mixed with milk this holiday season

Pepsi launched a campaign Thursday encouraging customers to try the combination of milk and pepsi for a holiday concoction.
1 day ago
People at vigil for four students killed in Idaho...
REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press

Victims’ families urge love, kindness as Idaho campus mourns

As hundreds of students mourned together inside the University of Idaho’s stadium Wednesday night, family members of four slain classmates urged them to raise their eyes from grief and focus on love and the future.
1 day ago
Mauna Loa spewing lava on Tuesday. (Courtesy: Paradise Helicopters via )...
Holly Yan and Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Lava spilling toward key Hawaiian highway, but the gov says it’s safe to visit the Big Island

The world's largest active volcano is shooting fountains of lava more than 100 feet high and sending a river of molten rock down toward the main highway of Hawaii's Big Island.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Trump Administration Begins Formal Withdrawal From World Health Organization