US President Donald Trump has said he is terminating Washington’s relationship with the World Health Organisation over its handling of the coronavirus, saying the WHO had essentially become a puppet organisation of China.
Appearing in the White House Rose Garden, Trump went ahead with repeated threats to eliminate American funding for the group, which amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Trump said the WHO had failed to make reforms to the organisation that the president had demanded earlier this month. He said Chinese officials “ignored their reporting obligations” about the virus to the WHO and pressured the WHO to “mislead the world” when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.
We are terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization, which acts at the behest of China. pic.twitter.com/QmTKmsLSbP
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 29, 2020
“China has total control over WHO despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year. We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly but they have refused to act,” said Trump.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with WHO and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” he said.