Trump cuts WHO funding over coronavirus 'failure'

AFP

US President Donald Trump has cut funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO), claiming it had "failed" in its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

"I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to assess the WHO's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," he told a White House news conference.

"The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable."

The US contributes roughly 15 per cent of its budget, making it the biggest overall donor to the WHO.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed disappointment at Trump's decision, saying it was not the time to reduce resources for the WHO.

"Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences," he said in a statement.

So far, the coronavirus has infected more than 1.9 million people around the world and killed over 126,000 people.

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