In quite a dramatic development that is perhaps surprising even when his mercurial nature is taken into account, US President Donald Trump on Saturday terminated all US relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO). The move has come even as the global health agency is in the middle of a battle against deadly coronavirus pandemic that has the entire world in its grips. The US is the worst-hit country where Covid-19 has caused more than 1 lakh deaths. Trump said that the US was terminating relations with WHO as the organisation did not make the "reforms" that were "requested" by the US.
As he made the announcement around 12.30 am (IST) on Saturday, Donald Trump took straight aim at China and alleged that the country had control over the WHO.
"China's cover up of the Wuhan virus allowed the disease to spread all over the world, instigating a global pandemic that has cost 100 thousand American lives and over a million lives worldwide," said Trump.
"Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligation to the World Health Organisation and pressured the World Health Organisation to mislead the world," he added.
He further said that China only pays USD 40 million to WHO compared to USD 450 million per year share borne by the US but has "total control" over WHO.
Immediately after saying that the US would terminate relations with WHO, Trump added that US will "redirect funds to other worldwide and deserving, urgent, global public health needs".
Trump has been gunning at China and at World Health Organisation for a while now. He has often called coronavirus a "Chinese virus". Number of comments have been made suggesting that the virus was deliberately developed inside a lab.
He has aired his displeasure about the WHO publicly. On April 15, Trump said that the US would halt funding to WHO. As one of its major donors, the US pays a huge chunk of funds used by WHO to tackle global health issues. Trump has been maintaining that WHO was not hard enough on China where the coronavirus infections were first observed.
Trump's critics say that the US President has lately been seeking to divert attention from domestic situation with respect to Covid-19 pandemic. Trump is facing a lot of flak from domestic Opposition which maintains that he 'mishandled' the situation making the country the worst hotspot in the world. In the early days of the outbreak, Donald Trump has been heard saying on record that coronavirus was "just a flu"