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European Union asks US to reconsider decision to cut ties with WHO

European Union asks US to reconsider decision to cut ties with WHO
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The European Union (EU) is asking the United States to reconsider its decision to cut ties with the World Health Organization (WHO).

“In the face of this global threat, now is the time for enhanced cooperation and common solutions. Actions that weaken international results must be avoided,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in a statement Saturday.

Trump announced Friday that the U.S. is "terminating" its relationship with the WHO over its response to the novel coronavirus. Friday’s announcement followed a decision in mid-April to suspend funding to the WHO pending a review of the organization’s handling of the coronavirus.

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The United States contributes nearly $400 million annually to the WHO, making it the organization’s largest contributor. Public health experts have warned that a suspension of funds would severely damage the organization. 

“This senseless action will have significant, harmful repercussions now and far beyond this perilous moment, particularly as the WHO is leading worldwide vaccine development and drug trials to combat the pandemic,” the American Medical Association said in a statement Friday.

Trump and his Republicans allies in Congress have accused the international health agency of being too "China-centric" at a time when the two countries are shifting blame on each other over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump said he would “redirect” funds previously allocated for the WHO to assist other global health initiatives.