'Don't politicize this virus': Tedros defends WHO's handling of COVID-19

Tedros defends WHO's handling of COVID-19


World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday (local time) defended the organization's handling and response to the coronavirus pandemic, a day after UN health body came under stinging criticism from US President Donald Trump.

"Please don't politicize this virus. It exploits the differences you have at the national level. If you want to be exploited and if you want to have many more body bags, then you do it," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The organization has faced criticism over handling the coronavirus situation which originated in China's Wuhan last year and has infected more than a million people worldwide so far.

"If you don't want any more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it. My short message is: Please quarantine politicizing COVID-19. The unity of your country will be very important to defeat this dangerous virus," said Tedros.

He also dismissed the US President's criticism of the organization being China-centric saying WHO was close to every nation and was "color-blind" as well as "wealth-blind."

"For us small and big is the same. For us people in the North or in the South, East or West are the same," he said.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the WHO accusing it of being "China-centric" and said he is considering a "very powerful hold" on funding to the global health body, which is leading the world's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're going to put a hold on money to the WHO, we're going to put a very powerful hold on it and we're going to see," Trump said at the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House.

However, later in the briefing, the US President told media persons "I'm not saying I'm going to do it, but we are going to look at it."

Earlier in the day, Trump had taken to Twitter to post: "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," Trump wrote, "I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?"

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