The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations that it will withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO), breaking ties with the global health body as the USA death toll from coronavirus surpassed 130,000.
A senior administration official told CBS News that the administration has submitted a notice of withdrawal, which will be effective July 6, 2021, to the United Nations secretary-general, who is the depositary for the WHO.
Trump threatened to withdraw back in April but a United Nations spokesperson confirmed the formal withdrawal request in an email to reporters on Tuesday.
The withdrawal will be effective in one year - July 6, 2021 - and Joe Biden, President Trump's presumptive Democratic opponent, has declared on Tuesday he will immediately reverse the World Health Organization withdrawal decision if he defeats Mr Trump in the November election.
The U.S. government has been critical of the World Health Organization over what it calls China-centric positions in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, among other issues.
The WHO's ties to China have been the subject of global criticism, prompting more than 120 countries to vote in May for an investigation into the organization's response to the emergence of the novel coronavirus with a particular focus on possible omissions born out of an over-reliance on dubious reports from Beijing. "This won't protect American lives or interests-it leaves Americans sick & America alone", replied Sen.
Meanwhile, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic was showing no signs of slowing down, after 400,000 new cases were reported over the weekend.
"We can not afford any divisions", he said.
Thus, despite critics' claims, withdrawal from WHO membership will leave the US isolated and may weaken global health goals. Supporters of the decision point out the current system is ineffective at promoting these very goals and safeguarding Americans' health.
"There is a real focus on the failures that took place around Wuhan and the World Health Organization's fundamental inability to perform its basic core mission of preventing a global pandemic spread", Pompeo said.
"Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship", Mr Trump said as he announced his decision in May.
Democratic representative Ami Bera said that the United States and World Health Organization had worked "hand in hand" to eradicate smallpox and almost defeat polio.