The US will not participate in the World Health Organization-led global effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine with the Trump administration on Thursday announcing next steps for its withdrawal from the multilateral body and the redirection of American resources.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US is scaling down its engagement with the WHO as the latter had failed to adopt urgently needed reforms. “Today, the @realDonaldTrump Administration continues to move forward with the United States’ withdrawal from the @WHO,” Secretary Pompeo tweeted on Thursday. “The WHO failed to adopt urgently needed reforms, starting with demonstrating its independence from the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

Humanitarian assistance is provided to people around the world with the support of the American taxpayer with the reasonable expectation that it serve an effective purpose, the US State Department said.

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“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,” US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
This comes a day after the State Department informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is reprogramming USD 62 million to finalize its withdrawal from the body.

“…we are announcing the remaining portion of the 2020 assessment, slightly more than USD 62 million, will be reprogrammed to the UN to pay other assessments,” State Department official Nerissa Cook said on Wednesday.

The next steps with respect to the withdrawal from the WHO and the redirection of American resources include reprogramming the remaining balance of its planned the 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,” Ortagus added.

The US officially announced its withdrawal earlier this year and will go into effect on July 6, 2021. It is set to 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.

The US has been the largest financial contributor to the World Health Organization, providing more than USD 400 million to the global agency in 2019.

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