WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has officially informed the United Nations of the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization, but this measure will not come into force until next year – which means it could be canceled under new administration if circumstances changed.
The withdrawal notice, issued on Monday, confirms President Donald Trump’s wish in late May to end U.S. participation in WHO, which he severely criticized for his response to the coronavirus pandemic and accused of bowing to Chinese influence. This decision was immediately decried by public health officials and critics of the Trump administration.
The withdrawal notice was sent Monday to the United Nations secretary general, Antonio Guterres, and will therefore be in effect in a year, on July 6, 2021, the State Department and the United Nations announced on Tuesday. Mr. Guterres, in his capacity as depositary of the constitution of WHO, of 1946, “is in the process of checking with the World Health Organization if all the conditions of such a withdrawal are respected”, declared its spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.
The United States will have to meet its financial obligations to WHO before the withdrawal can be finalized. The United States, which is the agency’s largest contributor – it pays more than $ 400 million a year – currently owes WHO $ 200 million in current and past contributions.
Gallery: These global crises were followed by an economic recovery (Espresso)