UN chief lauds WHO’s ‘tremendous work’ as Trump lashes out at ‘China centric’ world health body

United Nations:  The UN chief on Tuesday lauded the “tremendous work” of the World Health Organisation, even as US President Donald Trump accused the global health body of being “China centric” and criticised its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“For the Secretary General, it is clear that WHO under the leadership of Dr Tedros (Adhanom Ghebreyesus) has done tremendous work on COVID-19 in supporting countries with millions of pieces of equipment being shipped out, on helping countries with training, on providing global guidelines.

“WHO is showing the strength of the international health system,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said.

Dujarric was responding to whether the Secretary General has a comment on Trump’s tweet in which he lashed out at the WHO and indirectly warned of action.

“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?” Trump tweeted earlier in the day.

Dujarric said looking back, WHO has done tremendous work in fighting Ebola in Congo, putting its staff in the frontlines.

“We have seen great success in the way the WHO-led efforts to fight Ebola in the DRC and surrounding countries has had under the leadership of Dr Tedros,” he said.

Last month, Trump had said the WHO has “very much” sided with China on coronavirus crisis, asserting that many people are unhappy with the global health agency and feel that “it’s been very unfair .

Congressman Michael McCaul, ranking member on the House Foreign Relations Committee, had questioned the integrity of WHO head Ghebreyesus, saying, “there were several red flags in his past with respect to his relationship with China”.

In a tweet, Congressman Greg Steube had alleged that the WHO has been a mouthpiece for China during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both the WHO and China must face consequences once this pandemic is under control, he had said.

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