Update on U.S. Withdrawal from the World Health Organization
MORGAN ORTAGUS, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON
SEPTEMBER 3, 2020
The United States has long been the world’s most generous provider of health and humanitarian assistance to people around the world. This assistance is provided with the support of the American taxpayer with the reasonable expectation that it serve an effective purpose and reach those in need.
Unfortunately, the World Health Organization has failed badly by those measures, not only in its response to COVID-19, but to other health crises in recent decades. In addition, WHO has declined to adopt urgently needed reforms, starting with demonstrating its independence from the Chinese Communist Party.
When President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from that organization, he made clear that we would seek more credible and transparent partners.
That withdrawal becomes effective on July 6, 2021, and since the President’s announcement, the U.S. government has been working to identify partners to assume the activities previously undertaken by WHO.
Today, the United States is announcing the next steps with respect to our withdrawal from the WHO and the redirection of American resources. This redirection includes reprogramming the remaining balance of its planned Fiscal Year 2020 assessed WHO contributions to partially pay other UN assessments.
In addition, through July 2021, the United States will scale down its engagement with the WHO, to include recalling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailees from WHO headquarters, regional offices, and country offices, and reassigning these experts. U.S. participation in WHO technical meetings and events will be determined on a case-by-case basis.