WASHINGTON, April 15: US President Donald Trump announced that his administration is halting the nation's funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Addressing the daily briefing at White House on Tuesday, Trump said, "I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to access the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus."
"The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable," he added, the BBC reported.
Trump also accused the WHO of putting political correctness above saving lives and taking China's claims about the outbreak at face value.
Trump has accused the WHO of being biased towards China in recent weeks, and recently attacked the organisation for being too "China-centric" in its tackling of the coronavirus pandemic.
US financial contributions to the WHO accounted for just under 15 per cent of its funding in 2019.
The US decided against using a coronavirus test approved by the WHO in January, in favour of a test being developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - but some of them did not work properly, and led to inconclusive results.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African head of the WHO, has been accused of being too cozy with China in the past.
"Many countries said they were going to listen to the WHO and they have problems now the likes of which they cannot believe," Trump said.
"The world received all sorts of false information about misinformation and mortality," he added.
If the WHO had gone to China to oversee the outbreak, mores lives would have been saved, he claims, adding that "their reliance on China's disclosures... likely caused a 20-fold increase in cases worldwide and it may be much more than that."
"So much death has been caused by their mistakes," he said.
The US president previously praised China's role in containing the virus in this tweet, sent a few days after the two countries signed a trade deal. - IANS