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recommitment

Fauci says U.S. 'stands ready to' support international COVID-19 response and will remain a member of WHO

As President Biden's administration begins, Dr. Anthony Fauci informed the World Health Organization Thursday the United States will remain a member and "stands ready" to "support the international COVID-19 response."

Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and Biden's chief medical adviser, spoke with WHO's executive board on Thursday and praised the organization, which former President Donald Trump heavily criticized over its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The New York Times reports.

"I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization," Fauci said.

Trump announced last year the U.S. would withdraw from the World Health Organization after criticizing the group for having allegedly "minimized the threat" of the coronavirus. But Fauci told WHO that Biden on Wednesday "signed letters retracting the previous administration's announcement to withdraw from the organization."

Additionally, Fauci said the U.S. "will cease the draw down of United States staff seconded to the WHO and will resume regular engagement of U.S. government personnel with the WHO," as well as "fulfill its financial obligations to the organization." He also told the board that the U.S. "stands ready to work in partnership and solidarity to support the international COVID-19 response" and will join Covax, the initiative seeking "equitable access" to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus celebrated the comments from "my brother Tony," adding, "This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health."