Trump says U.S. terminating relationship with World Health Organisation

Carla Harmon
May 29, 2020

President Donald Trump said on Friday he was breaking off United States ties with the World Health Organisation, which he says failed to do enough to combat the initial spread of the novel coronavirus.

Announcing actions against China for approving a proposal for a new national security legislation in Hong Kong, Trump called the Chinese government's move "the latest in a series of measures that are diminishing the city's longstanding and very proud status".

"China raided our factories, off-shored our jobs, gutted our industries, stole our intellectual property, and violated their commitments under the World Trade Organization", Trump ranted. "The world needs answers from China on the virus".

"China's cover-up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world, instigating a global pandemic that has caused more than 100,000 American lives", Trump added.

Trump's phrasing highlights the buildup of China-U.S. tensions amid the pandemic. He had previously suspended funding to the World Health Organization, complaining that it had been complicit with China in concealing the extent of risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Hubei province.

The US is the largest source of financial support to the World Health Organization and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organisation.

Trump announced last month that the US would freeze froze funding pf the WHO, and threatened to make the freeze permanent if the organization did not enact "major substantive reforms".

The US has historically been the health agency's largest funder.

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