World Health Organization annual assembly urges independent probe of its COVID-19 response

World Health Organization annual assembly urges independent probe of its COVID-19 response

Trump's ultimatum comes amid an increasingly bitter row between Washington and Beijing over the virus and after Trump earlier branded the World Health Organization a "puppet of China".

The United States did not disassociate itself from the consensus as some had feared after Washington chastised the World Health Organization on the first day of the assembly Monday and lashed out further against China over its role in the outbreak.

Trump had already suspended United States funding to the United Nations body, and after his White House comments Monday, he tweeted a letter he had sent to Tedros threatening to make that freeze permanent and withdraw from the organisation.

It's also receiving both praise and criticism for how it's dealing with the crisis.

Tensions between the two countries have risen as the Trump administration has put increasing blame on Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun said that the U.S. should stop using scapegoating practices during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump posted a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, dated Monday, on his Twitter page overnight. China said Tuesday it backs the resolution. The first report described the first 41 patients from Wuhan, China, diagnosed with Covid-19.

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He faulted its "repeated missteps" in the response to the pandemic, saying they have proven "very costly for the world".

"The World Health Organization failed to independently investigate credible reports that conflicted directly with the Chinese government's official accounts, even those that came from sources within Wuhan itself", he wrote.

Trump added that if the WHO "does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization".

During Xi's speech, he also promised that China will provide 2 billion US dollars over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries.

Without these changes, the president says, the U.S. will make his temporary freeze of USA funding permanent and "reconsider our membership in the organisation" altogether.

Also at issue is a resolution which would allow poorer countries access to any coronavirus vaccines or treatments that could be developed by private manufacturers.

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