After months of combative language and dissatisfaction directed at the World Health Organization, the Trump administration is formally withdrawing from the WHO.
Today, the administration notified Congress and the United Nations of the US’s withdrawal, which may not be a surprise, but it’s still certainly a devastating blow for a country in the midst of a pandemic.
Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted, “Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in 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.”
Trump has insisted that the WHO helped enable the Chinese government’s cover-up of the pandemic and has repeatedly called for the organization to be defunded. His Republican allies, however, haven’t stood beside him, disagreeing with the decision to withdraw and urging him to reconsider. While some may be skeptical of the WHO, most seem to agree that withdrawing during a pandemic isn’t the best idea.
It’s important to note, however, that given the yearlong timeline for the withdrawal process, the November election could reverse this course of action should Trump be voted out of office.