US President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will be “terminating its relationship” with the World Health Organization.
Speaking at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said that he will instead direct the funds to other organisations. He announced that he will sign a proclamation that will redirect funds to US universities, removing America from the world’s most prominent global health organisation.
Trump suggested that it was part of a move to address the relationship he perceives between China and the WHO, which he considers biased towards the Asian nation.
This comes after he had tweeted “CHINA!”, earlier in the day.
The United States president has spent weeks railing against the WHO after he felt they acted too slowly in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and had favoured China, misleading the world over the threat that the virus – which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan – might have posed.
Trump claimed at the press conference that China had “total control” over the WHO, whilst using the occasion to repeat his accusation that China was at fault for the virus.
By terminating its relationship with the WHO, the United States could significantly weaken the health organization as it is responding to COVID-19. The US is the biggest single contributor to the Geneva-based organization, paying in around $450m.
The death toll in the United States is now at 100,000 – the highest recorded in the world – and is expected to rise, with the United States having a scattergun approach to lockdown and testing.
The President’s response was to emphasise the role of the state, which has seen some states reopen their economies already, despite warnings that there could be worse still to come.