WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will not pay some $80 million it owes the World Health Organization (WHO) and will rather reroute the cash to assist pay its United Nations bill in New York, a U.S. authorities stated on Wednesday.
SUBMIT PICTURE: A logo design is envisioned on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency Committee on the unique coronavirus (2019- nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30,2020 REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Image
The United States prepares to leave the Geneva-based WHO on July 6, 2021, after President Donald Trump accused it of ending up being a puppet for China throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The WHO has turned down Trump’s assertion.
A WHO spokesperson said on Thursday in an e-mail response to a request for comment: “We refer you to our previous declarations of regret regarding the U.S. decision to withdraw. We await additional details, which we will think about carefully.”
Under a 1948 joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, Trump needed to give 1 year notification of the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO and is required to pay what Washington’s owes for the organization’s present financial year.
Nerissa Cook, State Department Bureau of International Company Affairs deputy assistant secretary of state, stated the United States presently owes the WHO some $18 million for monetary year 2019 and $62 million for monetary year2020
” Those together are being reprogrammed to the U.N. to pay the regular U.N. evaluation,” stated Cook, referring to money that Washington is needed to pay the United Nations in New York.
Lawrence Gostin, a university teacher at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C., said in a tweet that redirecting WHO funds is “dishonest … and patently illegal”. The United States needed to fulfill all monetary responsibilities, he said, including: “Trump is acting unilaterally, w/o (without) Congress & in violation of the law”.
Dr Alma Golden, U.S. Firm for International Advancement assistant administrator for global health, said that in most cases Washington had actually identified new partners to continue the global health support it had brought out with the WHO.
However she stated a one-time payment of $68 million would be made to the WHO for health help in Libya and Syria and efforts to remove polio in top priority nations because these “show the few cases in which WHO has the special capability that an alternate partner might not duplicate at this time.”
Trump’s political rival, previous Vice President Joe Biden, has stated he will rejoin the WHO if he beats Trump in the U.S. governmental election on Nov. 3.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Humeyra Pamuk; Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker and Timothy Heritage