WASHINGTON, D.C.—A senior official confirmed on Tuesday, July 7, that The White House has officially moved to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization.

The W.H.O. is an agency of the United Nations which functions to eradicate diseases. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, their experts have provided medical and technical guidance. They have coordinated with world leaders on their national responses.

“The United States’ notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, has been submitted to the U.N. secretary general, who is the depository for the W.H.O.,” said the senior official. Within the next year, it is possible that the decision could be reversed.

President Trump threatened to leave the WHO for months. He accused the organization of not holding the Chinese government accountable in their efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“China has total control over the World Health Organization… We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” said President Trump in late May.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement in support of Trump’s decision: “The World Health Organization can no longer be trusted. It had an obligation to warn the world about the coronavirus. Instead, the organization helped the Chinese Communist Party cover it up, allowing the outbreak in Wuhan to become a global pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 500,000 people worldwide and put millions more lives at risk.”

However, others were critical of leaving the WHO.

“To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone,” tweeted Senator Bob Mendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.