US will cut ties with WHO, Trump says

1070 views
The United States will terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak in China, President Donald Trump said on Friday. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — The United States will terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak in China, President Donald Trump said on Friday.

Trump accused the global health agency of failing to hold Beijing to account over the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said Chinese officials “ignored their reporting obligations” to the WHO about the virus and pressured the agency to “mislead the world.”

“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year,” he said.

The US is the WHO's largest single contributor, providing more than $400m in 2019. However, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged last week to give $2 billion to the WHO over the next two years to help combat the coronavirus.

Trump had previously announced a temporary halt of funding to the WHO and sent a letter to the agency earlier in May saying that the US would permanently pull funding if the WHO did not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days."

It was not immediately clear when his decision would come into effect. A 1948 joint resolution of Congress on US membership of the WHO said the country “reserves its right to withdraw from the organization on a one-year notice.”

The World Health Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s announcement. A WHO spokesperson said: "We have no comment to offer at this point," according to CNN.

It has previously denied Trump’s assertions that it promoted Chinese “disinformation” about the virus. — Agencies


1070 views