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This Wednesday, March 11, 2015 photo shows the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters building in Geneva, Switzerland. In a delay that some say may have cost lives, the World Health Organization resisted calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency until the summer of 2014, two months after staff raised the possibility and long after a senior manager called for a drastic change in strategy, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter)

Trump says US will end relationship with WHO, citing China

This Wednesday, March 11, 2015 photo shows the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters building in Geneva, Switzerland. In a delay that some say may have cost lives, the World Health Organization resisted calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency until the summer of 2014, two months after staff raised the possibility and long after a senior manager called for a drastic change in strategy, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter)

President Donald Trump said the US will terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization, which he has accused of being under Chinese control and failing to provide accurate information about the spread of coronavirus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) emblem sits on a glass entrance door at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.

“We have detailed reforms that they must make and engage with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said Friday at the White House. “We will be today terminating our relationship with the WHO.”

Trump’s announcement came as he delivered a litany of complaints against Beijing, ranging from trade practices to legislative moves that would compromise Hong Kong’s autonomy. He had previously suspended funding to the WHO, complaining that it had been complicit with China in concealing the extent of risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Hubei province.

US President Donald Trump

Earlier this month, Trump threatened to withdraw from the WHO, sparking opprobrium from global leaders who have said the international group is more important than ever in the context of the pandemic.

In a four-page letter detailing his grievances with the organization, Trump called on the WHO to “demonstrate independence from China,” renewing his complaint that led him in April to temporarily suspend US funding.

Trump made the letter public hours after President Xi Jinping addressed the World Health Assembly by video link. Xi promised to devote $2 billion toward fighting the pandemic over the next two years while urging greater international cooperation to defeat the virus.

The US has historically been the health agency’s largest funder. The US has given about $100 million a year to the WHO, plus anywhere from $102 million to $401 million in additional voluntary contributions, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.