World Health Organisation urges virus unity after Trump attack - GulfToday

World Health Organisation urges virus unity after Trump attack


Director General of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addresses a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. File/AP

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday pleaded for global unity in fighting the coronavirus, following US President Donald Trump's stinging attack on its handling of the pandemic.


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As the WHO prepares to mark 100 days on Thursday since it was first notified of the outbreak in China, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hit back at accusations that it had been too close to Beijing.

The UN's health agency has faced criticism in the past both for overreacting and for moving too slowly in fighting epidemics, but it has rarely faced as much scrutiny as with the COVID-19 pandemic.

US President Donald Trump talks to the media. File photo

Trump piled in on Tuesday, accusing the WHO having "called it wrong" and months too late, while taking US money but favouring China.

The new coronavirus, which first appeared in China in December, has gone on to kill more than 80,000 people, while more than 1.4 million people have tested positive.

"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 said 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?"

However, French President Emmanuel Macron later "reiterated his belief that the WHO must be part of the solution" during a conversation with Tedros, according to a presidential official.

"He refuses to see (the WHO) locked in this war between China and the United States," the official said of Macron.

Agence France-Presse

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