US President Donald Trump on Friday said he is terminating the US relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus, saying the WHO had essentially become a puppet organization of China.
Trump says the U.S. is terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization and will redirect funds from WHO to other organizations pic.twitter.com/Fxf75bk9ZD
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 29, 2020
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.
“China has total control over the 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 the WHO and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” he said.
Trump has long questioned the value of the United Nations and scorned the importance of multilateralism as he focuses on an “America First” agenda.
Since taking office, Trump has quit the UN Human Rights Council, the UN cultural agency UNESCO, a global accord to tackle climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.
The WHO is a UN specialised agency -an independent international body that works with the United Nations.
The WHO and a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s decision.