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U.S. announces formal withdrawal from World Health Organization Updated: 2020-07-08 05:57:53 KST

Our top story this morning.
The Trump Administration has formally started withdrawl of the United States from the World Health Organization making good on threats over the UN health body's response to COVID-19 pandemic.
The process will take twelve months to complete.
And we have our Kim Sung-min on the line for the details,
Sung-min, President Trump had earlier stated his intention to do this.
Now it's formal.

Yes Se-min, the withdrawal decision has been confirmed by U.S. State Department.
It says the Trump administration on Tuesday notified the United Nations,which is the depository for the WHO of its formal withdrawal from the organization.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez also tweeted Tuesday that U.S. Congress received notification from President Trump about the news.
However, as you mentioned, this was not out of the blue.
President Trump expressed his intent to pull the U.S. out of the WHO in May, blasting the institution as a tool for the Chinese government.
This was after the U.S. launched an investigation to identify the origin of COVID-19 and accused China for being responsible.
As the U.S. is the WHO's largest single contributor, funding around 400 million U.S. dollars a year, it could deal a massive financial blow to the organization.
That was around 15 percent of the WHO's total budget in 2019.

And the sudden absence of such a large contribution comes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in other parts of the world.
What reaction have we seen so far and how will this process unfold?

Well, this decision came despite the criticism from congressional lawmakers - even from within the Republican Party.
Earlier this month, House Republicans urged President Trump to change his mind, sayin g the U.S. could do more in its response to the pandemic if it stays within the WHO.
Especially since the U.S. has seen more than three million COVID-19 cases, the world's worst-affected country, there's a possibility the move could face barriers during the year-long withdrawal.
Experts say a lot hinges on whether President Trump wins reelection in November and if the idea draws support from Congress.
Until then, the decision could be reversed.
Back to you, Se-min.
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