The US is on its way out of the World Health Organization. The State Department and the United Nations say the Trump administration formally notified the UN Monday of its intention to withdraw from the WHO, triggering a 12-month withdrawal process that will end with the US exiting on July 6, 2021, the AP reports. President Trump said in May that he planned to pull the US out of the WHO because of its flawed response to the pandemic. The withdrawal process, however, could be halted if there is a change in administration. Joe Biden has said he supports the WHO, and if he wins in November, "it would be staggering if he didn’t immediately tear up all the decisions by Trump" withdrawing from the WHO and cutting off US funding to the organization, the Guardian notes.
The decision to pull the US out of the UN's public health agency in the middle of a pandemic was strongly criticized by lawmakers including Sen. Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, CNN reports. "To call Trump's response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn't do it justice," he tweeted. "This won't protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone." The US is currently around $200 million behind on its dues to the WHO and officials say that under the terms of the withdrawal agreement, the US needs to meet its financial obligations before its exit can be finalized. (Read more World Health Organization stories.)