Friday, May 29, 2020

Trump announces US is cutting off relationship with WHO

President Donald Trump, on Friday, said the United States would be cutting off its relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Mr Trump had earlier accused the global body of covering up China over the coronavirus pandemic, an accusation WHO has dismissed.

A report published by New York Post on Friday said Mr Trump, at press conference in the White House’s Rose Garden, accused the WHO “of being under the control of the communist nation (China) and it failed to provide transparency over the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“China has total control over the World Health Organisation,” Mr Trump was quoted by the news outfit. He was also quoted as saying “the U.S. contributed $450 million to the WHO each year compared to China’s $40 million”.

“We have detailed reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he continued.

“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will today be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organisation and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” Mr Trump added.

The U.S. is the largest funder of the WHO but has had a frosty battle with it since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus over its perceived poor handling of the global crisis that has claimed thousands of lives across the world.

Over 100,000 Americans have died from the virus.

The WHO’s funding runs in two-year budget cycles. For the 2018 and 2019 funding cycle, the U.S. paid a $237 million required assessment as well as $656 million in voluntary contributions, averaging $446 million a year and representing about 14.67 per cent of its total budget, according to WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic.