But 11 days after the pronouncement, Trump pulled the trigger , abruptly declaring late on Friday night that United States would be terminating its relationship with WHO.
The move is against the backdrop of spiking tensions between USA and China.
It was not immediately clear whether the United States “terminating” its relationship with the WHO meant it was legally withdrawing from the institution.
Trump also gave no additional details on how the United States would reallocate nearly $450 million a year in annual funding to WHO to other public health programs.
“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said in a press conference on Friday
“As they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with WHO and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving global public health needs”, Trump said.
Top officials and Republican allies in Congress have also criticized WHO for being too friendly with China and providing cover for Beijing in the wake of its initial cover-up and mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The announcement drew condemnation from public health experts, who said it would undercut WHO’s ability to address the pandemic.
Experts fear the decision will threaten the fate of other public health and vaccination programs around the world, beyond the current pandemic.
“What it will do is rupture global vaccine programs, polio eradication, Ebola response, and a thousand other global health tasks that the U.S. relies on WHO to deliver,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, a former senior US aid official now with the Center for Global Development.
Democrats and NGOs slammed the White House decision, saying the US president was ceding influence to China and further undercutting the coronavirus response.
US announcement on the WHO also leaves more questions than answers ..