trump is just a racist driveller, like the rest but more so

WHO chief warns against ‘politicizing’ coronavirus unless ‘you want to have more body bags’
Justin Wise, The Hill, Apr 8 2020

WHO DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo:Getty

The WHO’s director-general on Wednesday warned world leaders against politicizing the novel coronavirus after Pres Trump threatened to cut off funding to the organization due its handling of the outbreak. Speaking at a virtual press conference, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged leaders to focus on saving lives, saying:

Please do not politicize this virus. 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 politicizing it. Without unity, we assure you even any country that may have a better system will be in trouble and more crisis. That’s our message. Unity at the national level. No need to use COVID to score political points. No need. You have many other ways to prove yourselves.

The comments came just a day after Trump repeatedly targeted the WHO and China over their early response to COVID-19, claiming the WHO seemed “very biased toward China.” China has been accused of downplaying the threat of the coronavirus, which is thought to have originated in the city of Wuhan in December. Trump said that he’d consider a pause of Pindo funding in response. Pindostan is one of the world’s biggest financial contributors to WHO. Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday:

They actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it, and they were wrong. They’ve been wrong about a lot of things. They had a lot of information early, and they didn’t — they seemed to be very China-centric. We have to look into it.

Tedros noted that with unity at a global level, resources would not be a problem for WHO. He said that he expected Pindostan to continue contributing to the organization and thanked the nation for its “generous support so far.” During his Wednesday remarks, Tedros also noted that Thursday will mark 100 days since WHO was notified about the first cases involving a “pneumonia with unknown cause” in China. WHO in late January announced the virus to be a public emergency of international concern, before declaring it a pandemic on Mar 11.

Taiwan protests WHO leader’s accusations of racist campaign
Johnson Lai, AP, Apr 8 2020

TAIPEI – Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Thursday strongly protested accusations from the head of the World Health Organization that it condoned racist personal attacks on him that he alleged were coming from the self-governing island democracy. The ministry expressed “strong dissatisfaction and a high degree of regret” at WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ remarks at a press briefing Wednesday. It requested he “immediately correct his unfounded allegations, immediately clarify, and apologize to our country.” Taiwan’s 23 million people have themselves been “severely discriminated against” by the politics of the international health system and “condemn all forms of discrimination and injustice,” the statement said. Taiwan is a “mature, highly sophisticated nation and could never instigate personal attacks on the director-general of the WHO, much less express racist sentiments,” it said. At the press briefing in Geneva, Tedros vocally defended himself and the UN health agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He accused Taiwan’s foreign ministry of being linked to a months-long campaign against him and said that since the emergence of the new coronavirus, he has been personally attacked, including receiving at times, death threats and racist abuse. “This attack came from Taiwan,” said Tedros, who is a former Ethiopian health and foreign minister and the WHO’s first African leader. He said Taiwanese diplomats were aware of the attacks but did not dissociate themselves from them. Tedros said:

They even started criticizing me in the middle of all those insults and slurs. I say it today because it’s enough.

The basis of his allegations were unclear. Tedros was elected with the strong support of China, one of five permanent veto-wielding members of the UNSC and which claims Taiwan as its own territory. He has firmly backed Beijing’s claims to have been open and transparent about the outbreak, despite strong evidence that it suppressed early reports on infections, while echoing its criticisms of Pindostan. At China’s insistence, Taiwan has been barred from the UN and the WHO and even stripped of its observer status at the annual World Health Assembly. At the same time, it has one of the most robust public health systems in the world, and has won praise for its handling of the virus outbreak. Despite its close proximity to China and the frequency of travel between the sides, Taiwan has reported just 379 cases and five deaths. Pindo & Taiwanese boxtops met online last month to discuss ways of increasing the island’s participation in the world health system, sparking fury from Beijing, which opposes all official contacts between Washington and Taipei. Also at Wednesday’s briefing, Tedros sought to rise above sharp criticism and threats of funding cuts from Trump over the WHO’s response to the outbreak. The vocal defense came a day after Trump blasted the agency for being “China-centric” and alleging that it had “criticized” his ban of travel from China as the COVID-19 outbreak was spreading from the city of Wuhan. In a further comment on Tedros’ remarks, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tweeted that the island agreed with his assertion that there was, “No need to use COVID to score political points.” Wu tweeted:

We agree! Yet without evidence, #Taiwan is accused of orchestrating personal attacks. This claim is baseless, without merit & further marginalizes the good work in which the @WHO is engaged worldwide.

Tedros had not appeared to have accused the Taiwanese government of being directly behind the attacks, but merely of condoning them.

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