The United States officially notified the United Nations on Tuesday of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization, a White House official said.
The notice, which comes as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the globe, was submitted to the U.N. secretary-general and to Congress. The withdrawal is expected to take effect July 6, 2021.
A WHO spokesperson told NBC News they were aware of reports that the U.S. submitted the formal notification to withdraw, but declined to comment further.
Lawmakers from both parties, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., swiftly criticized the move.
“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Alexander, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in a statement. “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.”