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WHO says it wants to keep working with US

US President Donald Trump said Friday he was severing US ties with the WHO, which he says failed to do enough to combat the initial spread of the novel coronavirus.

World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Picture: @WHO/Twitter

GENEVA - The World Health Organisation said Monday it wanted to keep working with the United States despite President Donald Trump's decision to cut ties with the UN health agency.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said US involvement with the organisation had made a "great difference" over the decades and "it is WHO's wish for this collaboration to continue".

Trump said Friday he was severing US ties with the WHO, which he says failed to do enough to combat the initial spread of the novel coronavirus.

Trump first suspended funding to the agency a month ago, accusing it of mismanaging its handling of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

He has accused the Geneva-based organisation of being a "puppet" of China.

"We have received questions about Friday's announcement by the president of the United States of America," Tedros told a virtual press conference.

"The world has long benefited from the strong, collaborative engagement with the government and the people of the United States.

"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."

Tedros said the "only communication" the WHO has had was Friday's statement from Trump.