Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden rebuked President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization and promised to reverse course should he become president next year, when the United States’ withdrawal from the U.N.-based public health agency is expected to become official.
“Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health. On my first day as President, I will rejoin the [World Health Organization] and restore our leadership on the world stage,” Biden tweeted on Tuesday.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 7, 2020
The Trump administration formally informed the U.N. of its plans to leave the WHO in a letter on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. Trump originally announced that the United States planned to terminate its relationship in late May, and would redirect funding to “worldwide and deserving, urgent global public health needs.”
A “senior administration official” told The New York Times on Tuesday that the “notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, has been submitted to the U.N. secretary general, who is the depository for the W.H.O.” According to The Hill, withdrawing from the WHO requires a one-year advanced notice.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Tuesday that the pandemic is “accelerating” and that “the case for national unity and global solidarity is undeniable.”
Chairman of the Senate health committee Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has expressed disagreement with the Trump administration’s decision, citing poor timing in a statement: “I disagree with the president’s decision. Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”
“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need. And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States,” said Alexander, who concluded by asking that the Trump administration submit to Congress “specific recommendations” to reform the WHO.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate health committee, took a much stronger stance against Trump, accusing him in a statement of putting Americans at risk and abdicating “America’s role as a global leader.”
“Refusing to work with our partners across the world to fight this pandemic will only prolong the crisis, further undermine our international standing, and leave us less prepared for future crises. President Trump needs to realize this crisis doesn’t recognize borders and hiding from it or passing the blame won’t make it go away or make him any less responsible,” said Murray.
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