President of the United States (US), Donald Trump has officially withdrawn his administration from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The move comes amid a rising number of coronavirus cases throughout the Americas in the last week alone.
Sen. Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who tweeted the news, on Tuesday, wrote: “Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHOin the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.”
More than 3 million people in the nation have contracted the COVID-19 disease, while more than 130,000 have died, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Worldwide, the virus has infected 11.7 million and killed nearly 540,000.
Whether the president has the unilateral authority under U.S. law to withdraw from the world body is the subject of scholarly debate, according to a June report from the Congressional Research Service. Answering that question would require a court to “confront several complicated issues of first impression,” the nonpartisan organization found.
In April, Trump said that he had suspended U.S. funding to the organization pending a review, citing what he called “the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
A month later, he announced his intentions to leave the organization amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing what he called the World Health Organization’s misuse of funding and its cozy relationship with China.
The virus is widely believed to have originated from China.