US finally makes an official move to withdraw from the WHO

Amy Langley, Chief International Officer

8 Jul 2020

In the midst of crumbling global cooperation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States has given formal notice to the World Health Organisation (WHO) of its withdrawal. From July 6 next year, the US will no longer be a part of the WHO – a move that will see huge cuts to funding for the organization.

Trump’s decision to withdraw comes as no surprise given the ongoing threat made earlier this year. His opposition in the upcoming November election, Joe Biden, tweeted yesterday that ‘On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.’

With rising cases in the United States, tensions over healthcare funding continue to exacerbate the record-breaking second wave of Covid-19 cases. Though the decision will save the US around $550 million (the country’s 2019 contribution to the WHO) in the short term, academics are criticizing the decision as being ‘disastrous’ for the US’ national interests and position in international health diplomacy.