President Trump on Friday announced that the U.S. is “terminating” its relationship with the embattled World Health Organization (WHO) over its failure to enact reforms in the face of U.S. concerns over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its pro-China bias.null
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Trump said at a press conference.
It came as part of a press conference in which Trump took aim primarily at China for its conduct on a number of fronts including trade, the coronavirus and its incursions into Hong Kong.
“The world is now suffereing as a result of the misfeasance of the Chinese government,” Trump said.
Trump froze U.S. funding to the WHO this month, and threatened to make it permanent if the organization did not enact reforms. The U.S. had been the top contributor to the agency to the tune of approximately $450 million a year. China meanwhile pays approximately $50 million a year — but had recently announced a $2 billion injection of funds.
The U.S. has raised concerns about WHO officials’ praise of Chinese “transparency” and its repitition of Chinese claims that the virus could not be spread from person-to-person.
“Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization and pressured the World Health Organization to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities,” he said. “Countless lives have been taken and profound economic hardship has been inflicted across the globe.”