World Health Organization

President Trump has announced that he is immediately halting the decades-long U.S. membership in the World Health Organization over its response to China's handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

In a press briefing Friday at the White House, Trump said, "We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs."

The world's top health officials are warning that there could be a "second peak" of coronavirus infections during the current outbreak, separate from a second wave expected in the fall. As cases decline, officials worry that some countries are lifting restrictions too quickly — the U.S. among them.

What's key to understanding the different patterns emerging around the globe is recognizing that "this coronavirus is not the flu," said Dr. Margaret Harris, a member of the World Health Organization's coronavirus response team.

In 2015, Queen Elizabeth accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping in a gilded, horse-drawn carriage to Buckingham Palace, during a visit that was supposed to symbolize "a new golden era" of closer economic ties between this former empire and the ascendant power in the east.

"The relationship between China and the United Kingdom is now truly a global partnership," the queen declared during a state banquet.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

President Trump is giving the World Health Organization 30 days to commit to substantial changes in how it operates — or he will make his hold on U.S. funding permanent. The threat came in a letter that sharply criticizes the WHO response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship with China.

The World Health Organization's annual oversight convention will be held by teleconference beginning Monday, as the worst pandemic in modern history continues around the globe.

A health crisis is rapidly unfolding worldwide. It causes suffering and death, costs billions and threatens to overwhelm health-care systems, patients and their families.

No, it's not the coronavirus pandemic. It's that other disastrous health crisis: drug resistance. Bacteria and other microbes that cleverly change and evolve are outsmarting the antimicrobials once hailed as miraculous cures. Worldwide, 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

Official Headshot / ag.ky.gov

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined attorneys general from 17 states in asking the U.S. Congress to investigate the communist Chinese government’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-April, when President Trump declared, "Today I'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization," Jimmy Kolker did a double take.

"We were already in arrears before he said anything," says Kolker, who was an assistant secretary for global health affairs during the Obama administration.

The World Health Organization has pushed back against the theory that individuals can only catch the coronavirus once, as well as proposals for reopening society that are based on this supposed immunity.

In a scientific brief dated Friday, the United Nations agency said the idea that one-time infection can lead to immunity remains unproven and is thus unreliable as a foundation for the next phase of the world's response to the pandemic.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

As of Sunday, nearly three months since the first confirmed case of the coronavirus was reported in the United States, there are over 746,300 confirmed cases of the virus in the country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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