US President Donald Trump said Friday he was severing US ties with the World Health Organization (WHO), which he now says failed to do enough to combat the initial spread of the COVID-19 pandemic despite being effusive with praise for the WHO’s efforts earlier on, along with admiration for China’s response to the pandemic.

In a report, the Agence France Presse (AFP) said on Saturday, May 30, 2020, that Trump first suspended funding to the UN agency a month ago, accusing it of mismanaging its handling of the global pandemic after belittling the pandemic and saying it would go away. Trump’s latest action brings to six the number of agreements he has sundered: The Paris Accords on Climate Change; the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty; the Iran Nuclear Agreement or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); the Open Skies Treaty, and; the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Then 10 days ago, he accused the Geneva-based WHO of being a "puppet" of China, and said the funding freeze would become permanent unless it made "substantive improvements" even as the US has been late in remitting its committed annual contribution of $400 million. "Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the WHO," Trump told reporters as he sought to dominate the news cycle anew.

Trump said the US would be redirecting funds previously allocated to the WHO to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs. "The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency," he added but shirked about providing instances when China had been opaque about its reporting on the pandemic. Beijing has furiously denied the US allegations that it played down the threat when the virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.