The White House Budget Office instructed federal agencies to redirect the money normally intended for the World Health organization to groups that perform similar work such as the Red Cross and Samaritan's Purse.
The move indicates that President Donald Trump intends to make his temporary halt on funding to the WHO permanent, the New York Post reported Thursday.
The Post report noted that "Trump administration officials have ceased 'voluntary' contributions from agencies including USAID, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services — totaling about $300 million-$400 million a year."
The president on Tuesday announced that he would suspend U.S. funding of the United Nations relief organization due to its role in parroting China's lies and misinformation about COVID-19 in the early stages of the global pandemic. The WHO repeated without scrutiny the Chinese government's dubious claims that the disease was not spread as a result of human-to-human transmission, and failed to call the communist government out when it had become apparent they were misleading the global community about the virus.
The U.S. was the largest donor to the organization, accounting for roughly 10% of the WHO's yearly $4.8 billion budget.
Aside from its role in repeating misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, Trump administration officials have reportedly taken issue with the WHO's sizable travel budget and penchant for supporting liberal policies such as climate change and abortion.
According to the Associated Press, the annual WHO travel budget is about $200 million, dwarfing many of its health programs. In 2016, the WHO spent $71 million on AIDS and hepatitis, $61 million on malaria and $59 million on tuberculosis.