White House begins process of withdrawing from World Health Organization

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President Donald Trump speaks to journalists in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 2, 2020. The president addressed reports that the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has submitted to the UN secretary-general its notice to withdraw from the World Health Organization by July 6, 2021, a senior administration official confirmed to CNBC.

The notice to the UN was the first step in a yearlong process that will rely on several factors outside of Trump’s control, including cooperation from Congress and Trump’s own reelection in November, neither of which are assured.

The move comes as coronavirus cases are again surging in the United States. More than 3 million people in the nation have contracted the 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.

Trump announced his intentions to leave the organization amid the coronavirus pandemic in late May, citing what he called the World Health Organization’s misuse of funding and its cozy relationship with China. The coronavirus is widely believed to have originated from China.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization, despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year,” Trump explained during remarks made at the Rose Garden.

“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engage with them directly, but they have refused to act. Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving, urgent, global public health needs,” he added at the time.

The WHO did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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