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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Trump administration informed the United Nations and Congress on Tuesday that the U.S. is officially beginning the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization. The UN is now "in the process of verifying with the WHO whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met," according to a spokesperson.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to formally withdraw from the UN's global health agency — which will take effect on July 6, 2021 — comes as the pandemic continues to accelerate both in the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. is by far the largest donor to the WHO out of any country, contributing more than 14% of its total budget.

  • The move will impact international responses not only to the coronavirus pandemic, but also to diseases like polio.
  • For many countries that lack critical health infrastructure, the WHO functions as their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What they're saying: "Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health," Joe Biden tweeted." On my first day as President, I will rejoin the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.

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

The backdrop: President Trump announced in April that his administration had halted funding to the WHO, accusing the agency of "mismanaging and covering up" the coronavirus crisis on behalf of China and claiming that the U.S. "has a duty to insist on full accountability."

Go deeper

Oct 9, 2020 - World

World Food Program wins Nobel Peace Prize

David Beasley in Cuba. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images

The UN's World Food Program (WFP) was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize in a pointed assertion that multilateralism is saving lives despite the nationalism espoused by leaders like President Trump.

What they're saying: "Multilateralism seems to have a lack of respect these days,” said Nobel Committee director Berit Reiss-Andersen. "The need for international solidarity and multilateral co-operation is more conspicuous than ever."

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

Mike Pompeo shells out for media makeover

Via "Fox News Sunday"

Mike Pompeo's political action committee spent $30,000 on media training from last March to June — the most on any service beyond payroll during the first six months of 2021.

Why it matters: The former secretary of State hasn't just been losing weight but working to hone his media skills amid speculation about a possible presidential run, records show.