Trump ‘terminates relationship’ with WHO, withdraws all US funding

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Donald Trump has severed ties with the World Health Organisation and confirmed he will fully withdraw all US funding.

The President has been openly critical of the international body for weeks over what he believes was an inadequate response to the outbreak of coronavirus in the Chinese province of Wuhan last year.

Speaking during a White House address on Friday, he claimed that Chinese officials had “ignored” reporting obligations to WHO and pressured the organisation to to mislead the public about COVID-19.

The virus has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people in the US.

“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” President Trump said.

“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship.”

The US is the largest source of financial support for WHO, which is expected to be severely damaged by the withdrawal of funding.

Instead, Trump says the money will be redirected towards “other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs”.

He noted America contributes about $450 million (£360 million) to the WHO, while China provides about $40 million (£32 million).

The President first proposed withdrawing funding from WHO in April – a move the Democrats deemed illegal without the approval of Congress. Others said that it would severely affect vaccine development efforts led by the organisation.

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