US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (April 14) stopped his country's funding for World Health Organisation (WHO) and said the funding will remain halted till a review is being conducted in the WHO's "role in severely mismanaging and covering up" the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 after it emerged in Chinese city of Wuhan.
"Today I'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization. We will redirect global health and directly work with others. All of the aid that we send will be discussed at very, very powerful letters," Trump said during a press conference.
Notably, President Trump has been openly critical of the WHO, accusing the world health body of not showing urgency to take actions despite being aware of the dangers of the coronavirus.
"The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable," added Trump.
"Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China's lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death. This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage. Instead, the WHO willingly took China's assurances to face value... and defended the actions of the Chinese government," remarked Trump.
The US is the biggest single funder of WHO, providing $400m in 2019 - around 15% of the total budget of the global health body.
"With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America's generosity has been put to the best use possible," President Trump said.
The US is the worst-affected country in the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic with over 590,000 cases and more than 25,000 deaths.