The Latest: WHO and US discuss cooperating on Ebola threat

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Activists of the All Pakistan Private Schools Association and staff rally demanding the reopening of educational institutes which are closed to help contain the spread of the coronovirus, in Karachi, Pakistan, Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization says he and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar have discussed cooperation in responding to a new Ebola outbreak in Congo even as the Trump administration has announced plans to pull the United States out of the U.N. health agency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday he had a “very good discussion” with Azar last week and the American official “assured me of U.S. continued commitment” to support the fight against Ebola.

The hopes for continued cooperation between the U.S. and the WHO come in the wake of President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism of the health agency over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. notably its alleged “China-centric” stance. The outbreak first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Late last month, Trump said he was “terminating” the U.S. relationship with the WHO.

Tedros’ comments to reporters in Geneva suggested the joint work was continuing.

He said: “We have discussed with Secretary Azar to cooperate in helping DRC, but … we’re not receiving funding directly from the U.S.”

Tedros added: “But I have said it many times: I think in our relationship with the U.S., it’s not about the money.”

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