Experts confirmed that the W.H.O. made some missteps during the pandemic, but said it did largely well given the restrictions under which it operates. The agency coordinates clinical trials on treatments and efforts to manufacture and distribute the vaccine fairly.
"I think it is an extremely bad decision that will harm both global public health and the health of the American people," said Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. "It is unclear to me how the American people will benefit if they are not at the table and cannot shape this policy."
So that the Trump administration can give the W.H.O. Dr. Jha added that it is "deeply disingenuous" not to investigate the outbreak in China. "WHO can't get into China more than investigate why our Arizona outbreak is so bad or why we mess up the response as badly as we do."
And Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, highlighted the organization's accomplishments. "Without W.H.O., the world would not have eradicated smallpox, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis would have spread much more widely, and we would have much weaker systems for tracking influenza and other deadly infections."
The government's move has also been criticized by democratic lawmakers, including Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, who wrote on Twitter that Congress had just received a withdrawal notification. "This will not protect Americans' lives or interests – it leaves Americans sick and America alone," Menendez wrote.
But Republicans on Tuesday supported the idea of leaving the organization.
"The United States' withdrawal from the World Health Organization was the right decision," said Kentucky representative James R. Comer, a senior member of the House oversight committee, on Twitter. "Until the WHO goes through some serious reforms, it won't earn our money or membership."
The United States played a central role in the creation of the W.H.O. in 1948 and has been one of the largest sources of financial support ever since. The two-year budget for the W.H.O. is approximately $ 6 billion from member countries around the world. In 2019, the last year for which numbers were available, the United States contributed approximately $ 553 million.