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US to redirect WHO funding to other UN assessments

The State Department said in a statement that Washington would scale down its engagement with the WHO through July 2021, recalling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials from WHO headquarters, regional offices, and country offices, and reassigning these experts.

U.S. participation in WHO technical meetings and events will be determined on a case-by-case basis, it added.

Nerissa Cook, deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, detailed on Wednesday that the remaining portion of the 2020 assessment for the WHO, which is about 62 million U.S. dollars, together with 18 million dollars that Washington owes the WHO in Fiscal Year 2019, would be reprogrammed to the UN to pay the regular UN assessment.

The United States in July officially submitted its notification of withdrawal from the WHO to the UN secretary-general, and the withdrawal becomes effective on July 6, 2021.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have repeatedly assailed the WHO for months.

Experts and the Democrats have criticized the Trump administration, saying it was trying to shift blame of its mishandling of COVID-19 response and this would be counterproductive to addressing the public health crisis.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 6.1 million on Thursday, with the national death toll exceeding 186,000, according to a tally of Johns Hopkins University.

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