President Donald Trump has been criticised at home and abroad after announcing he is ending US ties with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The EU urged him to reconsider the decision, while Germany’s health minister called it a “disappointing setback for international health”.
The head of the US Senate’s health committee, a Republican like Mr Trump, said now was not the time to leave.
Mr Trump said the WHO had failed to hold China to account over coronavirus.
The WHO, a UN agency that helps countries promote healthcare and tackle outbreaks of disease, has faced regular criticism from the US president over its handling of the outbreak.
Trump’s claims against WHO fact-checked
He suspended US funding to the WHO last month and on Friday permanently halted the payment, which last year stood at more than $400m (£324m; €360m), the largest single contribution at around 15% of its total budget.
What has the response been to the US move?
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and top EU diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in a statement: “In the face of this global threat, now is the time for enhanced co-operation and common solutions. Actions that weaken international results must be avoided.
“We urge the US to reconsider its announced decision.”
German Health Minister Jens Spahn described the setback as “disappointing” although he accepted the WHO “needs reform”.
“The EU must take a leading role and engage more financially,” he said.