The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has no intention of resigning despite pressures coming from the Trump administration and their supporters, he said on Wednesday.
Speaking at his regular press briefing from Geneva, Dr. Ghebreyesus said he was focused on saving lives and would not be distracted by attacks.
He said those calling for his resignation should read the rules of the organization.
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President Trump, who was warned at least 10 times by officials within his own administration of the possibility of a pandemic in the United States, has recently started blaming WHO for his bungled response to contain COVID-19.
With a presidential election just about 190 days away and more than 45,000 Americans already dead, Mr. Trump has started blaming WHO for being “China-centric” and for declaring the pandemic late.
But WHO declared a public health emergency of international concerns on January 30, when there were only 82 confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China with no deaths.
By that time, President Trump was still downplaying the pandemic in the United States, calling it a Democratic hoax at a big rally as supporters cheered behind him, and granting interviews and bragging about how sophisticated the United States healthcare system was, and that the few cases in the United States would soon go away.
He wasted almost six weeks, The New York Times investigation revealed, and only took decisive actions when the number of deaths began to escalate, after containment had failed and mitigation began.
By that time, it was too late to save all the lives. As a result, more than 45,000 Americans have died, and more 800,000 have been infected in the United States. The real numbers could be higher because testing is limited in the United States.
Now with the election date on November 3, 2020, fast approaching, he has blamed from China to WHO for his own failures at home.
He announced he was suspending funding to the WHO while an investigation purportedly takes place.
But, the decision triggered global outraged within and outside of the United States.
Mr. Trump has not said publicly that the WHO DG should resign but his supporters and allies have called for his resignation.
The resignation of Dr. Ghebreyesus would give Trump the ammunition he needs to pin the blame on someone else while Americans decide whether he should move back to New York or Florida or remain on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.