Trump terminates US relationship with the WHO

The US president is alleging a conspiracy between China and the WHO to mislead the world about the coronavirus.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
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Trump WHO

Trump is terminating US funding for the WHO.

Screenshot by CNET

US President Donald Trump is ending the US relationship with the World Health Organization over allegations about the WHO's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The US will be withdrawing its funding from the WHO, Trump said in a press conference Friday, and instead "directing those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."

The president's reasoning behind terminating support included allegations that the WHO worked with China to "mislead the world when the virus was first discovered." He alleged that "China has total control over the World Health Organization."

Trump further alleged that China covered up the coronavirus and "ignored their reporting obligations to the World Health Organization."

The US COVID-19 death toll hit 100,000 two days ago, out of more than 1.7 million confirmed cases. Worldwide more than 360,000 people have died, with 5.87 million cases reported.

The US had made detailed requests for reforms it wanted to see at the WHO, Trump said.

"Because they have refused to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization."

The WHO didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The international organization works to combat diseases globally, working with governments, other health organizations, foundations, professional associations, the UN and others. It helps direct and coordinate international health responses and systems, including preparing, surveilling and responding to pandemics and other health issues. It also helps monitor and coordinate vaccine development. 

The US is the biggest funder of the WHO, paying almost $60 million per year to the organization.

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