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Officially Notified

The US has formally notified the World Health Organization that it is withdrawing as a member, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In April and May, President Donald Trump threatened to cut off US funding of the international health agency, as he regarded the agency's response to the COVID-19 pandemic to be "China-centric." He further announced in late May the US would be ending its relationship with the WHO.

According to the Journal, the State Department on Monday sent its formal notice of withdrawal from the WHO to the UN, of which the health agency is part. "The President has been clear that the WHO needs to get its act together," a department spokesperson tells the Journal. "That starts with demonstrating significant progress and the ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks with transparency and accountability."

Other lawmakers, though, decry the move, saying that the middle of a pandemic is not the time to leave the global health agency, it adds.

The Journal notes that the US departure won't take effect until next July, making the exit contingent upon President Trump's re-election, as the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden says the US would remain part of the WHO if he is elected.