The Trump administration formally notified the United Nations that the United States shall withdraw from the World Health Organization.
Health officials and critics of the administration strongly disapproved of the move, and argued that this would cost the U.S. influence in the global arena.
The notice of withdrawal was sent to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on Monday, but will not take effect until July 6, 2021.
This means that if circumstances change or if the country would be under a new administration before the said date, the decision could be rescinded.
Under the terms of a joint resolution passed by Congress in 1948, The United States must provide a year’s notice and must meet its financial obligations in order to leave the agency.
Stéphane Dujarric, Guterres’s spokesperson said that the secretary general is currently “verifying with the World Health Organization whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met.”
The withdrawal comes after President Donald Trump vowed to terminate the country’s participation in the WHO after heavily criticizing its response to the coronavirus pandemic and accusing it of bowing to the Chinese.
Initially, Trump gave the WHO 30 days to “get their act together” or lose U.S. support, but later on announced that his administration will leave due to the agency’s inadequate response to the initial outbreak of the coronavirus late last year.
“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” the president said at that time.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship.”
The U.S. is the agency’s largest donor with a pledge of more than $450 million per year, and the country currently owes some $200 million in current and past dues.