WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump attacked the United Nations health body as a Chinese "puppet" on Monday and confirmed he is considering slashing or canceling US support.
"They're a puppet of China, they're China-centric to put it nicer," he said at the White House.
Trump said the United States pays around $450 million annually to the World Health Organization, the largest contribution of any country. Plans are being crafted to slash this because "we're not treated right."
"They gave us a lot of bad advice," he said of the WHO.
Trump spoke as the WHO held its first annual assembly since the pandemic swept the world after originating in China, causing massive economic disruption and killing 316,000 people -- close to a third of them in the United States.
Trump said China only pays about $40 million a year and one idea was for Washington to bring "our 450 down to 40," but "some people thought that was too much."
President Donald Trump threatened Monday to permanently freeze US funding to the World Health Organization unless "substantive improvements" were made within the next 30 days.
Washington suspended funding to the WHO in mid-April, accusing it of being too close to Beijing and covering up and mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Trump tweeted images of a letter he sent to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, informing the director-general that "if the World Health Organization 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."