U.S. President Donald Trump said his country will be terminating its relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He announced this today in Washington, weeks before the 30 day ultimatum given to the UN agency expires.
Trump had earlier stopped U.S. funding of the agency.
He blamed the agency, that he described a puppet of China, for the mismanaged coronavirus pandemic in his country.
The U.S. leads the world in the number of virus caseload and fatalities.
Over 100,000 people have died of the virus in the U.S. and over 1.75 million cases recorded.
Trump had refused to take responsibility for the poor management and blamed WHO for not alerting his country about the seriousness of the virus.
The WHO has vehemently denied his accusation.
He also blames China, where the virus started last December, for not being transparent.
Trump said the WHO had failed to make reforms to the organisation that the president had demanded earlier this month.
He said Chinese officials “ignored their reporting obligations” about the virus to the WHO and pressured the WHO to “mislead the world” when the virus was first discovered by Chinese authorities.
“China has total control over the World Health Organisation despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying which is approximately $450 million a year.
“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly but they have refused to act,” said Trump.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organisation and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” he said.
Trump has long questioned the value of the United Nations and scorned the importance of multilateralism as he focuses on an “America First” agenda.
Since taking office, Trump has quit the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO, a global accord to tackle climate change and the Iran nuclear deal.
The World Health Organisation is a U.N. specialised agency – an independent international body that works with the United Nations.
The WHO and the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have not responded to the latest move by Trump.