During a May 29 press conference, President Trump announced that the United States would “terminate” its relationship with WHO, saying the UN health agency had failed to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic because China has “total control” over it. Observers have questioned the legality of the move—because the United States became a member of WHO through a joint resolution in 1948, Trump may need Congressional approval to exit the organization.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently the second-largest funder of WHO, behind the U.S. government. The foundation is working closely with WHO on COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts and will continue to use its voice to express support for WHO and WHO’s leadership.
The MLP Team is exploring the implications of this announcement and will provide relevant updates to foundation teams as the situation unfolds.