The head of the World Health Organization on Monday indirectly urged President Donald Trump to reconsider his decision to pull the United States out of the U.N. agency over its allegedly "China-centric" stance.
"The world has long benefited from the strong, collaborative engagement with the government and the people of the United States...It is WHO's wish for this collaboration to continue," WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
"The U.S. 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," he added.
On Friday, Trump announced that the United States will cut its ties with the WHO, calling the organization a Chinese "puppet" and criticizing it for pushing Beijing's "misinformation" about the coronavirus outbreak.
Cutting off U.S. funding would deal a heavy blow to the WHO. The United States was the top contributor in 2018 and 2019, providing $893 million in total, or about 15 percent of the Geneva-based agency's funding.
Ahead of Friday's announcement, Trump notified the WHO that he would permanently freeze U.S. funding of the U.N. agency and reconsider membership unless it committed to major reform within the next 30 days.