Trump says U.S. will end support for WHO, as death toll nears 103,000

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As the U.S. death toll neared 103,000, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would end its support for the World Health Organization charging it didn't respond adequately to the coronavirus pandemic because of China's "total control" over the U.N. agency.

Trump said Chinese officials "ignored" their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the agency to mislead the world when the virus was first discovered.

It was not clear how Trump planned to withhold the funds, much of which are directed by congressional appropriation. The president typically does not have the authority to unilaterally redirect congressional funding.

The WHO declined to comment on the announcement.

Almost 1.75 million cases have been recorded in the U.S., according to an NBC News tally. Globally, more than 365,000 people have died, according to the latest data from John Hopkins' University.

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Merck and Novartis join the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine

Several more drug manufacturers have joined the global effort to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

The announcements, from Merck and Novartis, follow earlier initiatives by pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Inovio, as well as from the United Kingdom's Oxford University.

However, experts remain unconvinced a vaccine proven to be safe and effective will be available this calendar year.

"I think we'll have to have one more cycle of this virus in the fall, heading into the winter, before we get to a vaccine," Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC this week.

"I really think a vaccine is probably a 2021 event, in terms of having wide availability of a vaccine for the general population."

Click here for a roundup of the most notable vaccine news of the week.

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