President Donald Trump has formally withdrawn the United States from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US will leave the WHO on 6 July 2021, the United Nations said after receiving formal notification from the President.
Senator Robert Menendez, a top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee tweeted that the Trump administration had informed Congress of the withdrawal.
“To call Trump’s response to Covid chaotic and incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests – it leaves Americans sick and America alone,” he tweeted.
The formal withdrawal comes after months of threats from the US president. At the end of May the US president said he was “terminating” ties with the WHO.
He has previously said he does not trust the body and has suggested the organisation, which is affiliated with the United Nations, is biased toward China. Trump has also said the WHO failed to stop early warning signs of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US is the worst-affected country with cases nearing three million and 130,751 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins university.
Eric Swalwell, US Representative for California’s 15th congressional district, called the decision “irresponsible, reckless and utterly incomprehensible”.
“Withdrawing from the @WHO in the midst of the greatest public health crisis of our lifetime is a self-destructive move. More Americans will be hurt by this careless choice,” he tweeted.
More to follow