GENEVA 

The World Health Organization chief said Monday he had heard only from the media about US President Donald Trump’s decision of termination to cut ties with the WHO, but the organization wants “continued cooperation”.

“The announcement was last Friday as we all heard. And the only communication we have, or announcement, was actually Friday’s media announcement from the US,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Tedros, the WHO director-general, told reporters at the organization’s thrice-weekly video press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said in his regular speech before taking questions: “I will conclude by saying that we have received questions about Friday’s announcement by the president of the United States of America.

“The world has long benefited from the strong, collaborative engagement with the government and the people of the US.

“The US government and people’s contribution and generosity towards global health over many decades has been immense, and it has made a great difference in public health all around the world. It is WHO’s wish for this collaboration to continue.”

Trump announced Friday the US is ending its relationship with the WHO following a months-long review he had ordered.

The US president said he was taking the action “because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms”.

That was after Trump paused Washington’s funding over concerns the global health body mishandled the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization, and redirecting those funds to other world-wide and deserving urgent global public health needs,” he said.

Trump continued to insist China has “total control” over the WHO, claiming “Chinese officials ignored their reporting obligations” to the health body during the coronavirus pandemic, and “pressured” it to “mislead the world.”

Tedros announced Monday the world had surpassed 6 million cases of COVID-19 across the planet.

According to Johns Hopkins University in the US, there have been over 373,000 deaths and more than 2.66 million recoveries from the virus so far.

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