President Trump has slammed the World Health Oranization (WHO), accusing the body of being a “puppet of China”.
His comment came hours after the US Health Secretary Alex Azar said the UN health body had let Covid-19 spin “out of control” at the cost of “many lives”.
“There was a failure by this organisation to obtain the information that the world needed,” Azar said on Monday.
The BBC reports: Mr Azar made the comments in an address to the UN’s World Health Assembly.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier agreed to a review over the agency’s handling of the pandemic.
Dr Tedros said an independent evaluation, which would look at what lessons could be learned and put forward any recommendations, would take place “at the earliest opportunity”.
The two-day assembly – an annual meeting involving 194 member states of the WHO that reviews the work of the UN’s health agency – comes amid recriminations between the US and China over the virus.
US President Donald Trump, who faces re-election this year and has been criticised for his handling of the pandemic, has blamed China for trying to cover up the outbreak and has accused the WHO of failing to hold Beijing to account.
“I chose not to make a statement today,” Mr Trump said on Monday about the event, while describing the body as “China-centric” and “a puppet of China”.
He said the WHO had “gave us a lot of very bad advice, terrible advice” and were “wrong so much and always on the side of China”.
The president later shared a letter he sent to Dr Tedros, outlining specific issues the US has regarding the WHO’s response.