President Trump announced on Friday, 5/29/2020, that the United States was “terminating” its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) over its response to the novel coronavirus, following through on a threat issued earlier in the month.
Speaking at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Trump accused the WHO of being under China’s “total control” and of failing to make reforms requested by his administration.
The president said he would “redirect” funds promised to the WHO to assist other global health needs.
“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said.
On Tuesday, 7/07/20, The White House officially moved to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO), a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, breaking ties with a global public health body in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. submitted its withdrawal to the United Nations Secretary-General, according to The Hill, and the White House informed Congress of its intent to drop participation in the WHO.
The withdrawal required a year’s notice, so it will not go into effect until July 6, 2021, raising the possibility the decision could be reversed.
Soon after taking office in January 2021, Biden wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to say the United States no longer planned to withdraw its membership from the group.
Subsequently, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced the United States would resume supporting the World Health Organization and join its COVAX vaccine initiative to distribute COVID vaccines around the world.
In response, Chip Roy R-TX) quickly introduced legislation to slash WHO funding, but the House, then controlled by the Democrats, did not take any action on the bill.
From 2020-2021, the United States was the third largest donor to the WHO, investing nearly $700 million, the group reported last May.
With Republicans now in control of the House, Rep. Roy (R-TX) reintroduced legislation on Thursday to defund the WHO and raised concerns about China’s influence over the group.
The bill, titled ‘‘No Taxpayer Funding for the World Health Organization Act,” cracks down on contributions to the WHO that have risen to hundreds of millions of dollars annually, making the United States one of the United Nations agency’s largest donors.
“Funneling millions of taxpayer dollars to the corrupt World Health Organization that serves the Chinese Communist Party is a slap in the face to hardworking American families struggling under record high inflation, and to all those whose lives and livelihoods were ruined and destroyed by the COVID pandemic,” Roy said in a statement given to The Daily Wire.
The legislation takes aim at the two types of contributions to the WHO. “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, effective on the date of the enactment of this Act, the United States may not provide any assessed or voluntary contributions to the World Health Organization,” the bill states.
Assessed contributions are “required dues a government agrees to pay when it becomes a member,” while voluntary contributions “fluctuate annually and are often earmarked for specific projects,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
Roy, a conservative who is a firm believer in Congress’s “power of the purse” as a means to enact change, has accused the WHO of siding with the communists in China” over concerns that the group helped Beijing cover up the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
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