Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, is pledging to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) on his first day in the White House in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States would exit the body.
“Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health,” the former vice president wrote on social media, upon news of the Trump administration’s move. “On my first day as President, I will rejoin the WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.”
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 7, 2020
On Tuesday, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the first to publicize that Trump would withdraw the U.S. from the WHO. Trump’s decision came as the agency, which is affiliated with the United Nations, has come under fire for its handling of the COVID19 pandemic, especially in regards to China, where the virus appears to have originated.
The WHO initially applauded China’s handling of the outbreak in early January, even claiming the Communist power’s commitment to transparency as the virus spread was “very impressive, and beyond words.”
Despite the early praise, many now believe that China knew about the virus before December 31, the date it notified the WHO of the outbreak. In fact, evidence has emerged that coronavirus symptoms were first noticed in late-November 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Such revelations, coupled with the fact it appears China stalled early on with providing the WHO with detailed data on patients and cases, resulted in Trump deciding to cut off U.S. funding for the agency in May.