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US to Start Recalling Officials From WHO, Redirecting Funds Ahead of Pullout, State Dept. Says

© AFP 2021 / FABRICE COFFRINIA photo taken in the late hours of August 17, 2020 shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at their headquarters in Geneva amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus.
A photo taken in the late hours of August 17, 2020 shows a sign of the World Health Organization (WHO) at their headquarters in Geneva amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus.  - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States will start recalling its representatives and reducing its engagement with the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of its planned pullout on 6 July next year, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus announced in a statement on Thursday.
"Today, the United States is announcing the next steps with respect to our withdrawal from the WHO and the redirection of American resources. This redirection includes reprogramming the remaining balance of its planned Fiscal Year 2020 assessed WHO contributions to partially pay other UN assessments," Ortagus said. "In addition, through July 2021, the United States will scale down its engagement with the WHO, to include recalling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailees from WHO headquarters, regional offices, and country offices, and reassigning these experts. US participation in WHO technical meetings and events will be determined on a case-by-case basis."

In July, the United States formally notified the WHO of its withdrawal effective July 6, 2021. Ortagus said Washington had been working to identify partners to assume the activities previously undertaken by WHO.

"When President Trump announced the US withdrawal from that organization, he made clear that we would seek more credible and transparent partners," she added.

The United States pulled out of the WHO earlier this year after claiming the body helped China conceal information about the origins of the novel coronavirus. The WHO said its January 30 emergency declaration gave the United States sufficient time to prepare while Beijing said it had been transparent about the virus's origins.

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