In an unprecedented move, Donald Trump announced on Friday that the United States will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization.
We have detailed reforms that they must make and engage with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said. “We will be today terminating our relationship with the WHO.”
Trump’s decision came as he slammed China, who he has called out multiple times during the pandemic, for having “total control” over the global organization. It also comes just months after Trump previously froze funding to the organization, after he claimed that the WHO failed to appropriately and quickly respond to the coronavirus and bowed to pressure from China. Furthermore, he claimed that Chinese officials pressured the WHO to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered and also “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO.
The move would critically impact the WHO, who receives nearly $450 million of support from the U.S. This could result in severe consequences as the WHO is the top organization leading the international efforts on controlling the coronavirus. Trump revealed that he plans on “redirecting” the funds taken from the WHO to “other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” however, he did not elaborate on what those needs will be.
Trump is basing his claims on decisions made by the WHO in the early stages of the pandemic, including not pressing China to allow international inspectors into the country as the outbreak rapidly grew.