President Donald Trump says he has directed a halt to United States payments to the World Health Organisation pending a review of its warnings about the coronavirus and China.
Trump says the outbreak could have been contained at its source and spared lives had the United Nations health agency done a better job investigating reports coming out of China.
Trump said the funding amounts to between US$400 million and US$500 million a year.
The US President says the world depends on the WHO to work with countries to make sure accurate information about health threats are shared in a timely manner.
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Trump claims the organisation failed to carry out its "basic duty" and must be held accountable.
But Trump says the US will continue to engage with the organisation in pursuit of what he calls meaningful reforms.