Trump promises 'announcement' on US funding to WHO next week



President Donald Trump on Friday said he will make an announcement next week on US funding to the World Health Organisation, which he has recently threatened to cut.

"As you know, we have given them approximately USD 500 million a year, and we are going to be talking about that subject next week. We'll have a lot to say about it," Trump told a news conference at the White House.

He said he would make the announcement "sometime next week."

Trump has gone on an offensive against the WHO, where Washington is the principal funder, accusing it of pro-China bias during the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China, last year.

The US State Department has homed in on what it says was the world health body's failure to pursue an early lead on coronavirus out of Taiwan.

Taiwan, which has succeeded in limiting the virus to just five deaths despite the island's proximity and ties with China, warned the WHO on December 31 of human-to-human transmission, Vice President Chen Chien-Jen has said.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which rules itself, and has pressured international organizations like WHO around the world not to allow the island membership.

On Friday, China's foreign ministry said the US comments were "fact-distorting" and politically motivated to shift blame for the pandemic, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

WHO denies that it ever got an early warning from Taiwan about human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Trump confirms US-Mexico deal to cut oil production

President Donald Trump on Friday confirmed the US had agreed to help Mexico meet its commitment to slashing oil production under a global deal to address the petroleum glut.

"Mexico is going to reduce by 100,000 barrels and that would mean that they're 250 to 300 (thousand) barrels short. We'd make up the difference, they would reimburse us at a later date," Trump said, adding that accomplishing that would involve cutting "some US production.