WHO, U.S. Health Officials Cooperating On DRC Ebola Outbreak; No Movement On Trump’s Threat To Withdrawal From Agency

AP: U.S. cooperates with WHO on Ebola despite Trump pullout threat
“The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday he and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar have discussed cooperation to fight a new Ebola outbreak in Congo, even as the Trump administration is planning to pull the United States out of the U.N. health agency…” (Keaten, 6/10).

Devex: U.S. says it will cut WHO funding. What happens next?
“The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw funding from the World Health Organization could result in swift reductions in health programs, or it could drag out indefinitely without any clear action. After weeks of threats for WHO to ‘reform or else,’ President Donald Trump announced at the end of May that the U.S. government would cut all funding to the global health entity. Legal questions remain, as the U.S. has yet to formalize the end of their WHO relationship with official communication…” (Lieberman, 6/11).

Reuters: WHO hopes to work with U.S. on Ebola despite Trump criticism
“…WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had met U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar last week. … Tedros said the meeting with Azar did not mean the WHO was receiving money directly from Washington, until now its top donor. ‘It’s not about the money. The relationship (with the United States) is more important,’ he said…” (Farge et al., 6/10).

STAT: Trump’s decision to leave WHO came with bluster, but no action so far
“…The Trump administration has not formally notified the WHO that it is withdrawing, a spokesman for the agency told STAT. The administration has also not paid outstanding financial obligations to the WHO, a step that would be required before the United States could pull out under a joint resolution signed by Congress. Instead, the president’s May 29 announcement … has been followed by virtual silence from both top health officials in his administration as well as WHO officials in Geneva. Some legal experts find themselves wondering whether a withdrawal will happen at all…” (Branswell, 6/11).

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