President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US cuts ties with World Health Organisation over coronavirus response


President Donald Trump has said the US will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organisation.

The president said it had failed to adequately respond to coronavirus because China has "total control" over the global organisation.

He said Chinese officials "ignored" their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the group to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered.

"We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act," the president said from the White House.

"Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship."

He noted that the US contributes about 450 million US dollars (£360 million) to the world body while China provides about 40 million dollars (£32 million).

The US is the largest source of financial support to the WHO and its exit is expected to significantly weaken the organisation.

President Trump said the US would be "redirecting" the money to "other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs", without providing specifics.