Donald Trump says US will suspend funding for World Health Organisation
He accused the UN body, which coordinates global public health efforts, of failing “in its basic duty” during the coronavirus pandemic.
President Trump claimed the WHO had mismanaged the initial outbreak, and of covering up the spread of the virus.
In a White House press conference, Mr Trump said “I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organisation's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”
"The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable," he added.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this was “not the time” to cut resources from the WHO.
The United States is the WHO’s largest individual funder. In 2019 it gave $400 million (£316 million) - around 15% of its overall budget.
It comes after Mr Trump himself has received heavy criticism for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, where there are almost 600,000 confirmed cases of the disease.
In February, Mr Trump said cases of the disease in the US would “be down to close to zero” within a couple of days.
Then in March, the President told reporters that “this is a pandemic,” adding, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
In a press briefing on Monday, described as “jaw-dropping” by the BBC’s North America correspondent, John Sopel, the President defended his handling of the crisis, insisting that his Chinese travel ban in January had bought the country time.
When asked by a reporter from the US broadcaster CBS what he had done during the time the travel ban had bought him, Trump called her “a disgrace” and “so fake”, and did not answer the question.
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