A TV seize taken from a video launched by the World Well being Group (WHO) reveals WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attending a digital information briefing on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) from the WHO headquarters in Geneva on April 6, 2020. AFP
The World Well being Organisation on Wednesday pleaded for international unity in preventing the coronavirus, following US President Donald Trump’s stinging assault on its dealing with of the pandemic.
Because the WHO prepares to mark 100 days on Thursday because it was first notified of the outbreak in China, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hit again at accusations that it had been too near Beijing.
The UN’s well being company has confronted criticism up to now each for overreacting and for transferring too slowly in preventing epidemics, nevertheless it has not often confronted as a lot scrutiny as with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump piled in on Tuesday, accusing the WHO of getting “called it wrong” and months too late whereas taking US cash however favouring China.
The brand new coronavirus, which first appeared in China in December, has gone on to kill greater than 80,000 individuals, whereas greater than 1.four million individuals have examined constructive.
“The WHO really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China-centric. We will be giving that a good look,” Trump stated on Twitter.
“Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”
Physique baggage picture
Tedros urged the US to hitch with China in combating the illness quite than indulging in a blame sport, as he issued a stern defence of the WHO’s administration of the pandemic.
“The United States and China should come together and fight this dangerous enemy,” Tedros instructed a digital press briefing in Geneva.
“The main target of all political events ought to be to save lots of their individuals. Please don’t politicise this virus.
“In case you don’t need many extra physique baggage, you then chorus from politicising it,” the WHO chief argued, earlier than including later: “It’s like playing with fire.”
Citing the demise toll and variety of infections, Tedros implored: “For God’s sake… is this not enough?”
The WHO was deemed too alarmist when it confronted the H1N1 epidemic in 2009 however 5 years later it was accused of dragging its ft in declaring an emergency over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed greater than 11,000 individuals.
Now the company has been accused of delaying sounding the alarm over COVID-19 for concern of offending Beijing, for ready too lengthy to declare the outbreak a world pandemic and for failing to coordinate a coherent worldwide response.
Tedros has been giving thrice-weekly digital press conferences in a bid to be open about how the organisation is coping with the pandemic.
On Wednesday, in a extremely uncommon flip, Ethiopia’s former well being and overseas minister spoke out for the primary time in regards to the private assaults geared toward him, together with racial slurs and a demise risk, throughout the disaster.
“I don’t give a damn,” Tedros stated.
“I’m a really proud black particular person or negro. I don’t care about being known as even negro; I’m.
“When the entire black group was insulted, when Africa was insulted, then I don’t tolerate,” he stated, referring to strategies final week from two scientists in regards to the continent’s suitability as a vaccine testing floor.
Famous person help
Late Wednesday he retweeted the private help he has acquired from the African Union and the presidents of South Africa, Nigeria and Rwanda.
United Nations Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres lent his help too, saying it was not the time to criticise the early response to the outbreak.
“Now is the time for unity, for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” he stated in a press release.
Tedros can name additionally on some top-level celeb backing, equivalent to US famous person Woman Gaga.
He has teamed up with the singer to launch a large on-line coronavirus consciousness live performance on April 18 entitled “One World: Together at Home”, that includes music icons like Paul McCartney and Stevie Marvel.
Tedros stated there can be worse to return from COVID-19 if the world didn’t unite to face as much as its unfold.
“Let’s fight like hell to suppress and control this virus,” he stated.
“Otherwise, with the way we are doing now, I think we will regret it.”