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Coronavirus: WHO urges US to reconsider its withdrawal decision

The head of the World Health Organization hopes the United States leadership will reconsider its departure from the UN health agency.

Coronavirus WHO urges US to reconsider its withdrawal decision
London, First Published Aug 7, 2020, 9:03 AM IST
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London: The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said that the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be defeated in a divided world, and he hopes the United States will "reconsider its position" on the decision to withdraw from the organization.

"Now it's time to work together, it's time to focus on fighting the virus. So I hope the US will reconsider its position," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the Aspen Security Forum via video link.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the US was well recognized both for its generosity and support of global health projects in the past.

“You cannot defeat this virus in a divided world,” Tedros said of a country that contributes more than $450 million to the agency every year.

"You cannot defeat this dangerous enemy in a divided world. We need a united world, and the united world needs cooperation and solidarity among its major powers," he explained.

“When I was a minister in Ethiopia, when HIV/AIDS was ravaging the whole continent of Africa...It's the US generosity and leadership that gave hope to individuals, gave hope to families and gave hope to nations,” Tedros said.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused WHO of botching its response to the coronavirus and said it colluded with China in the pandemic's early stages to cover up the extent of the outbreak. WHO had denied that and recently started a probe into the global response to the pandemic.

President Trump announced in May that his country would sever ties with the WHO and terminate funding for the organization. Last month, the United States notified the United Nations secretary-general of its withdrawal from the WHO.

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