US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said that President Donald Trump’s official withdrawal of the country from the World Health Organization (WHO) is “an act of true senselessness”.
Taking to Twitter, the veteran Democrat said: “The President’s official withdrawal of the US from the World Health Organization is an act of true senselessness as @WHO coordinates the global fight against COVID-19.
The President’s official withdrawal of the U.S. from the World Health Organization is an act of true senselessness as @WHO coordinates the global fight against COVID-19. With millions of lives at risk, the President is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 7, 2020
“With millions of lives at risk, the President is crippling the international effort to defeat the virus”, Pelosi further posted.
Pelosi’s remarks come after Trump formally moved to withdraw the US from the WHO, after he had made his intentions clear in late May, accusing the world body of being under China’s control in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, Trump formally notified Congress that the United States has officially moved to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Trump and his administration repeatedly assailed the WHO for months and threatened to cut ties with the organization. Experts and Democrats criticized that the Trump administration was trying to shift blames of its mishandling of COVID-19 response and would be counterproductive to addressing the public health crisis.
Senator Robert Menendez, the leading Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee took to Twitter, saying,”Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the US from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic”.
“It leaves Americans sick and America alone”, Menendez tweeted.
In response to the decision, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who will challenge Trump in the November presidential election, tweeted: “On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.”
Late May, US President Donald Trump announced that the country will terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization, a move he has threatened throughout the coronavirus pandemic and one that earned quick criticism from both sides of the aisle.
As the world as well the United States grappled with the Coronavirus pandemic, the President on April 14 announced cutting off funding of up to USD 500 million annually to the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing the UN body of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the deadly coronavirus when it first emerged in China.
Under a Congress resolution in 1948, the US can withdraw but must give a year’s notice and should pay outstanding fees, although it is unclear where Trump stands on that.
The withdrawal will call into question the WHO’s financial viability and the future of its many programmes promoting healthcare and tackling disease.