Trump orders halt of US funding to WHO

US President Donald Trump announced he was halting funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday, news wires reported. He accused the world body of failing in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump said US taxpayers provide between 400 and 500 million dollars a year to the organisation. However, it is unclear how Trump plans to halt the funding, which is largely appropriated by Congress. The president said the US has a "duty to insist on full accountability" and will stop payments while a 60- to 90-day review takes place to assess the WHO's "role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus."

He also pointed the finger at the WHO for "praising China for its so-called transparency" and siding with Beijing in opposing his travel restrictions. Trump himself had praised China's "efforts and transparency" in their work to contain the virus in a January tweet.

The announcement, which Trump has been teasing for a week, comes as the president is fending off intense criticism over his early response to the virus, which experts say was lacking in adequate testing and tracking to properly address the outbreak.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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