The head of the World Health Organization defended his agency’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling on leaders to not “politicise” the situation and focus on saving lives threatened by COVID-19.
The comments by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday came a day after US President Donald Trump’s criticised the global health agency and suggested his administration could review funding.
With the global death toll exceeding 83,000 amid 1.4 million confirmed infections, Tedros said now is not the time for such threats.
“The focus of all political parties should be to save their people. Please don’t politicise this virus. It exploits the differences you have at the national level,” he said at a press briefing in Geneva, addressing politicians and world leaders.
“If you want to be exploited and if you want to have many more body bags, then you do it. If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicising it.”
Pleading for leaders to put aside differences, Tedros added: “Please, unity at national level, no using COVID for political points. Second, honest solidarity at the global level. And honest leadership from the US and China,” he said.
“The United States and China should come together and fight this dangerous enemy,” he said.