White House: Trump, Duterte teaming up vs COVID-19 menace
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump agreed to work together to defeat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic during their phone conversation over the weekend.
According to a statement from the White House, Trump expressed solidarity and offered additional assistance to the Philippines as both countries continue its battle with the pandemic.
“Both leaders agreed to continue working together as long-time allies to defeat the pandemic, save lives, and restore global economic strength,” read the statement sent by the US Embassy in Manila to reporters on Tuesday.
Trump also expressed his condolences for the death of 11 Philippine soldiers who were killed in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf Group bandits in Sulu.
“The two leaders also discussed how the United States and the Philippines can continue building upon the strong and enduring economic, cultural, and security ties binding the two nations,” the statement further read.
Malacañang earlier said Duterte had a “cordial” conversation with Trump but did not disclose any further details.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the communication was initiated by the US government.
“It was cordial. And it was about bilateral collaboration on COVID-19. But beyond that, I have no authority to divulge any further details,” Roque said.
The US has so far recorded the most number of COVID-19 cases worldwide with over 750,000 cases and over 41,000 fatalities.
In the Philippines, a total of 6,459 have so far been confirmed. Four hundred twenty eight patients have died while 613 others have recovered.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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