Sen. Alexander disagrees with U.S. withdrawal from World Health Organization

Lamar Alexander

FILE – In this Sept. 24, 2019, file photo, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sen. Lamar Alexander disagrees with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization.

The Trump administration formally notified the United Nations on Monday that it is pulling out of the WHO. The president vowed to withdraw from the organization after criticizing its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement Tuesday, Sen. Alexander said pulling out of the WHO could hamper efforts to mitigate the pandemic.

“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Alexander said. “Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it. Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need. And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States. If the administration has specific recommendations for reforms of the WHO, it should submit those recommendations to Congress, and we can work together to make those happen.”

Although the U.S. has formally notified the UN of its withdrawal from the WHO, it will not take affect until next year.

Alexander, whose Senate seat is up this election cycle, is not seeking re-election.

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