Sat | Jul 11, 2020

US cuts World Health Organization ties over virus response

Published:Friday | May 29, 2020 | 3:07 PM
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that the US will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organization, saying it had failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus because China has “total control” over the global organization.

He said Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the WHO to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered.

He noted that the US contributes about $450 million to the world body while China provides about $40 million.

The US is the largest source of financial support to the WHO and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organization.

Trump said the US would be “redirecting” the money to “other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” without providing specifics.

The Trump administration may soon expel thousands of Chinese graduate students enrolled at US universities and impose other sanctions against Chinese officials in the latest signs of tensions between Washington and Beijing that are raging over trade, the coronavirus pandemic, human rights and the status of Hong Kong.

President Donald Trump said he would make an announcement about China on Friday, and administration officials said he is considering a months-old proposal to revoke the visas of students affiliated with educational institutions in China linked to the People’s Liberation Army or Chinese intelligence.

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