World Health Organisation chief slams US for politicising coronavirus crisis
World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Tedros denies he is favourable to China and thanks the US for its generous funding, but says the two countries should work together
He also singles out the Taiwan government for condoning what he says were online attacks against him
The World Health Organisation’s chief slammed the US for politicising the Covid-19 pandemic and singled out the Taiwan government for condoning what he said were online attacks against him.
In a series of scathing attacks, WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also blamed the media for “adding fuel to the fire” on Wednesday amid escalating geopolitical tensions from US President Donald Trump, who blamed the WHO for being China-centric and threatened to stop funding the international body.
Tedros denied he was favourable to China and thanked the US for its generous funding, but said the two countries should work together.
“Now, the US and China should come together and fight this dangerous enemy,” Tedros said. “[There is] no need to use Covid to score political points.”
“We don’t do politics at WHO,” he said. “We care for the poor. We care for those who are vulnerable.”
Trump threatens to cut US funding of World Health Organisation amid coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, Trump threatened to withhold US funding from the World Health Organisation. He had castigated the WHO on Twitter earlier that day and issued a veiled threat against the agency:
The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?
Responding to a question about Trump’s criticism, Tedros told a press conference: “Please don’t politicise this virus. It exploits the differences you have at the national level. If you want to be exploited and if you want to have more body bags, then you do it.”
Tedros also turned to what he said were personal racist comments that started in Taiwan.
“I can tell you personally attacks which have been going on for more than two, three months: abuses, or racist comments, giving me names, black or negro,” he said. “Maybe for the first time I will make this public: even death threats. I don’t give a damn."
“Three months ago, this attack came from Taiwan … And Taiwan, the foreign ministry, they also know the complaint. They didn’t dissociate themselves. They even started criticising me in the middle of all that insult and slur. But I didn’t care – three months."
“Since I don’t have any inferiority complex when I’m personally affected or attacked by racial slurs, I don’t care, because I am a very proud black person or negro. I don’t care being called even negro – I am.”