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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration made good on its promise this week to formally withdraw the United States from the scandal-plagued World Health Organization (WHO), submitting its official notice to the United Nations to begin the year-long process.

A senior administration official confirmed to The Hill that the administration has submitted its withdrawal notification to the UN secretary-general. One year of advance notice is required for a nation to pull out of the international health body, meaning the United States won’t be officially severed from the WHO until July 6, 2021.

In April, President Donald Trump announced a temporary suspension of the more than $400 million the United States sends the pro-abortion UN entity every year, pending a review of its “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” 

In May, he notified WHO general-director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the administration’s review “confirmed many of the serious concerns I raised last month” as to the international body’s “repeated missteps” and “China centric” nature, and that withdrawal would be permanent if the WHO didn’t “commit to major substantive improvements,” including “demonstrat(ing) independence from China.” On May 29, the administration announced it would cut ties with the WHO for good.

Critics have faulted the organization for, among other offenses, opposing bans on travel from China that could have limited the reach of COVID-19, and for legitimizing the false claims coming out of the Chinese government that initially downplayed the gravity of the situation and covered up the Communist regime’s mishandling of it.

“In December, the WHO refused to act on or publicize Taiwan’s warning that the new respiratory infection emerging in China could pass from human to human,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) wrote. “In mid January, despite accumulating evidence of patients contracting what we now know as COVID-19 from other people, the organization repeated the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) lie that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. In January, the WHO, at Beijing’s behest, also blocked Taiwan from participating in critical meetings to coordinate responses to the coronavirus and even reportedly provided wrong information about the virus’s spread in Taiwan.”

Population Research Institute head and China expert Steve Mosher added that Ghebreyesus and his senior adviser, Dr. Bruce Aylward, have been “carrying water” for the Chinese regime, from backing claims that the virus didn’t originate in China to praising the regime’s handling of the outbreak.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blasted the decision on the grounds that it allegedly “leaves Americans sick & America alone.” But the Trump administration strenuously denies that withdrawing from the WHO amounts ot withdrawing from the international COVID-19 response.

“So far the (United States) has used the WHO as an implementing partner around the world for about $40 million of our assistance,” a senior State Department official explained in May. “So what the president saw was that WHO was not being an accountable, transparent partner, and as such it’s really important for us to make sure when you do foreign assistance that you always look at who is the best partner in order to get the job done.”

The official went on to note that the United States gives “$18 billion-20 billion worth of health and humanitarian assistance nearly every year,” of which the WHO’s portion is relatively small, and could easily be redirected to any number of other non-government organizations (NGOs).

“The United States continues to be the undisputed leader in foreign assistance,” says James Richardson, director of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the State Department, who noted that the United States is currently responsible for “49 percent of all government and multilateral assistance” in response to COVID-19.