US President Donald Trump says he is “terminating” the relationship between the United States and the World Health Organization (WHO), which he says is heavily influenced by China.
In aletter, Mr Trump had given the WHO 30 days to commit to reforms
He says the US will redirect WHO funding to “global public health needs”
Since taking office, Mr Trump has withdrawn the US from numerous international bodies
In a briefing, Mr Trump also said the US was ending Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspending the visas of thousands of Chinese graduate students — escalating tensions with China that have surged during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Trump has been expressing anger at the WHO for weeks over what he has portrayed as an inadequate response to the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province late last year, which has since killed more than 100,000 Americans.
Speaking from the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday, Mr Trump said Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured them into misleading the world when the virus was first discovered.
Mr Trump said the WHO had failed to make reforms to the organisation that the President had demanded in a May 18 letter to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
That letter had given the WHO 30 days to commit to reforms, but Mr Trump’s action came after just 11 days.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship.”
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