In April, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the World Health Organization, accusing the organization for failing to oversee the onset of the coronavirus as it began to spread in China.
In recent days, President-elect Joe Biden said he intends on returning the United States to the WHO.
The United States is the largest contributor to the WHO, which was formed in 1948 by the United Nations According to the WHO, the United States provided 14.67% of funding to the organization.
One of the WHO’s top missions is to stop the spread of preventable diseases. While polio has been eradicated in the United States, the WHO says it expects to spend $1.6 billion from 2019 through 2023 on polio eradication. Nearly 36% of the WHO’s budget alone goes toward polio eradication.
Besides polio eradication, the WHO says funds from the US are used for outbreak and crisis response, vaccines of preventable diseases and reproductive health. The WHO says 19% of its budget goes toward crisis and outbreak response.
But this has been an area of scrutiny for the WHO. Leading the criticism is Trump.
"Today I'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the WHO while a review is conducted to assess the WHO's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump said in April.
The WHO was arguably slow for declaring the virus a "pandemic," as it was not until March 11 when the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.