Donald Trump officially launched the procedure for the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO), carrying out his threats to leave the UN agency which he accuses of having delayed reacting to the pandemic of coronavirus.
Health officials and the president’s opponents have criticized his decision to withdraw the largest contributor to the Geneva-based organization responsible for the global fight against disease and COVID-19, which continues to spread around the world.
And the Democratic candidate for the White House, Joe Biden, assured that he would cancel this decision if he was elected on November 3.
“On the first day of my presidency, I will join WHO and reaffirm our global leadership,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Americans are safer when America is committed to strengthening global health,” said.
The withdrawal will take effect after a year, July 6, 2021, several officials of the United States government said on Tuesday.
The notification was sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “who is the depositary for WHO,” they said.
The United Nations also confirmed that it received the US withdrawal letter on Monday.
The spokesperson of Mr. Guterres clarified that the United States, founding members of the WHO in 1948, had to fulfill two conditions to withdraw from the organization: to respect a deadline of one year and to be up to date in their contributions.
Donald Trump had announced in late May “end the relationship” between his country and the WHO, which he accuses since the start of the pandemic of being too lenient with China, where the coronavirus appeared in December before spread on the planet.
He also accuses the boss of the WHO, the Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, of having failed to reform the organization.
The United States, which contributes 15% of the UN agency’s budget, or $ 400 million a year, will “redirect these funds to other urgent and global public health needs that deserve them,” he said. to the press.
“Up to the knees”
However, last week a senior US health official said the United States continues to work day-to-day with WHO.
“I was not called back, I was not instructed to withdraw,” said Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health and member of the WHO executive board.
The announcement comes at a time when the pandemic has killed at least 539,620 people worldwide since late December, according to an assessment Tuesday by the AFP from official sources.
The United States, which recorded its first death linked to the coronavirus in early February, is the country most affected with more than 130,000 deaths.
To the point of being “deep down to the knees” in the pandemic, estimated Monday evening the director of the American Institute of Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, while foci of contamination have appeared in the south and west of the country after the deconfinement decided by the local authorities.
The Federation of American Scientists denounced the withdrawal, saying it was “at a time when international cooperation is most needed.” It “will only undermine the global fight against COVID-19,” she lambasted.
The withdrawal “will not protect the lives or interests of Americans, it will leave Americans sick and America alone,” said Senator Robert Menendez, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
WHO, which has not commented on Trump’s decision, says the epidemic is accelerating and the peak of the pandemic has not yet been reached.
And in remarks to the press, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus again called on Tuesday for “national unity and global solidarity”, which are “more important than ever to beat a common enemy, a virus that has taken the world hostage “
“It is our only way out of this pandemic,” he said.