American News May 29, 2020 7:03 PM EST

BREAKING: Trump announces the US is leaving the World Health Organization

The US has officially left the World Health Organization.

BREAKING: Trump announces the US is leaving the World Health Organization
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY
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The US has officially left the World Health Organization.

"China has total control over the World Health Organization," Trump told reporters at the White House today.

"Despite only paying $40 million per year, compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million per year. We have detailed the reforms that it must make, and engaged with them directly. But they have refused to act. Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."

It was on May 18 that Trump shared the letter the US had written to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization, indicating those reforms that the US required to re-up WHO funding.

That letter, which Trump referred to as "self-explanatory," stated that US contributions, which had already been temporarily suspended a month earlier, would be permanently halted if there were not a thorough investigation into WHO and their "failed response to the COVID-19 outbreak."

At that time, Trump highlighted the many "serious concerns" that the US had with WHO, including their "alarming lack of independence from the People's Republic of China."

Earlier in the pandemic, Tedros had praised China's efforts to curtail and contain the spread of the virus. The letter addressed concerns that the WHO "were either grossly inaccurate or misleading," specifically with regard to their reaffirmation of China's claim the virus wasn't transmitted between humans.

"Perhaps worse than all these failings is that we know that the World Health Organization could have done so much better," the letter reads.

Trump goes on to say that "I cannot allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America's interests."

"The WHO... receives vast amounts of money from the United States... And they actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it. And they were wrong, they've been wrong about a lot of things. They've had a lot of information early, they seem to be very China-centric."

This prompted a question as to exactly how that could be ascertained, and Trump said:

"I don't know! They seem to come down on the side of China. Don't close your borders, don't do this, they don't report what's really going on, they didn't see it and yet they were there [in Wuhan.] How do you not see it?"

The day after Trump shared this letter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed Canada's continued advocacy for the WHO.

Trudeau said that "Canada believes that multilateral institutions like the WHO are extremely important, particularly at a time of global health crisis like this one. No global institution is perfect and there are obviously things we need to work on and improve about multilateralism, and that's one of the reasons why Canada has been so incredibly active over these past weeks and months."

"We will continue to support the WHO, even as we look for improvements to our multilateral systems."

Justin Trudeau's International Development Minister Karina Gould has defended the WHO, saying that "We have to understand and appreciate that the WHO is reliant on all of its member states to provide information."

She went on to say that "I do think that the WHO did provide, to the best of their ability, the most accurate and up to date information that they had... I think that what's really important is the fact that they provided the information as soon as they had it, and it's something that we've all been pushing for,"

This is a breaking story that will be updated.

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