Citing a series of blunders by the organization and its tendency to side with China, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, then-President Donald Trump announced last summer that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the World Health Organization (WHO) and pulling all funding from the group.
Dr. Anthony Fauci gave notice on Thursday, however, that the decision had been reversed.
According to Fauci, President Joe Biden moved on his first day in office to rejoin the WHO on behalf of the U.S.
“I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci, who heads the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), revealed to the WHO board on Thursday, according to NPR.
“Yesterday, President Biden signed letters retracting the previous Administration’s announcement to withdraw from the organization,” the doctor added.
Biden makes his move
Fauci also said letters announcing the change had been sent to both the United Nations secretary-general and the WHO director-general.
“This letter constitutes a retraction by the Government of the United States of the letter dated July 6, 2020, notifying you that the Government of the United States intended to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO), effective July 6, 2021,” Biden wrote in his message to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“The United States intends to remain a member of the World Health Organization,” the new president added. “The WHO plays a crucial role in the world’s fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as well as countless other threats to global health and health security.”
Biden also vowed that America would “continue to be a full participant and a global leader in confronting such threats and advancing global health and health security.”
Speaking with the WHO, Fauci expressed similar sentiments, saying the U.S. would “cease the drawdown of U.S. staff” assigned to the WHO and would “resume regular engagement” and collaboration between the U.S. government and the organization.
The doctor made no direct mention of ongoing complaints regarding the WHO’s handling of communist China and its role in the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, but he did briefly allude to them, calling for vague and unspecified reforms.
“We are committed to transparency, including those events surrounding the early days of the pandemic,” Fauci reportedly said. “It is imperative that we learn and build upon important lessons about how future pandemic events can be averted. The international investigation should be robust and clear, and we look forward to evaluating it.”