US officially notifies WHO of its withdrawal
The move is widely condemned as COVID-19 continues to rage around the planet.
The US administration has formally notified the World Health Organization of its withdrawal from the UN body despite widespread criticism.
When he flagged the move in late May, President Trump, accused WHO of helping the Chinese government in a cover up in the early stages of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan.
The New York Times said this accusation was baseless.
“There is no evidence that the WHO or the government in Beijing hid the extent of the epidemic in China, and public health experts generally view Mr Trump’s charges as a way to deflect attention from his administration’s own bungled attempts to respond to the virus’s spread in the United States,” it said.
“In fact, the agency issued its first alarm on Jan 4, just five days after the local health department of Wuhan announced a cluster of 27 cases of an unusual pneumonia at a local seafood market. The WHO followed up with a detailed report the next day.”
Public health experts in the United States reacted to the move to withdraw from WHO with dismay.
“Turning our back on the WHO makes us and the world less safe,” said Dr Thomas Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America “stands strongly against President Trump’s decision,” said its president, Dr Thomas M. File.