President Trump said the U.S. would halt all funding of the World Health Organization and remove itself from the agency alleging the agency protected China in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, during an address in the Rose Garden at the White House.
In the address, Trump said the WHO hadn’t made reforms he claims would have helped the global health agency prevent the coronavirus from spreading to nearly every corner of the world.
“We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” said Trump in the address.
“The world needs answers from China on the virus.”
Democratic lawmakers have said such a unilateral move would be illegal, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who last month said the move would be “swiftly challenged.”
The U.S. counts for roughly 15% of the WHO’s total funding during its current two-year budget period.
In contrast, the WHO has repeatedly cited its commitment to a review of its global response — although not until the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was over. In April, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield said the “postmortem” on the outbreak should happen only after the emergency has passed.
During his address, the president alleged that China pressured WHO to misdirect the world on the truth about the virus.
Health experts say this decision will subvert efforts to improve global health levels in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.