African Leaders Reject Criticism against WHO Chief

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April 9/2020 (ENA) African leaders have swiftly rejected the criticism after the latest volley of verbal attacks on Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Including Ethiopian President Sahlework Zewdie, the presidents of Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria and Namibia, along with the head of the African Union Commission, rallied to the defense of the WHO on Wednesday.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the WHO, said that he has been targeted with racist attacks and death threats as the agency became embroiled in an increasingly polarized and heated political environment worldwide.

The director general called that a “quarantine” on divisive political attacks on the novel coronavirus response.

“If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it,” Tedros underscored.

US President Donald Trump, at a news conference on Tuesday, threatened to freeze U.S. funding for the WHO a potentially huge blow to the health agency, as the United States is its biggest single funding source.

Following this criticism, it was swiftly rejected by political leaders in Africa and they have showed for WHO headship would enable to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, tweeted that the WHO is providing “exceptional” and “incalculable” leadership, adding that international solidarity is “the most potent weapon” against the pandemic.

Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on his part twitted that “surprised to learn of a campaign by the U.S. government against WHO’s global leadership.”  

He said the African Union fully supports the WHO and its director-general. “The focus should remain on collectively fighting COVID-19 as a united global community. The time for accountability will come.”

Likewise, Rwandan President Paul Kagame tweeted that he totally agreed with the African Union leaders.

He said Dr. Tedros had the “full confidence and support of Africa.” He added “Save us [from] too much politics, Africa does not need it.”

Namibian President Hage Geingob added his support for the WHO and Dr. Tedros. “Global solidarity has become critical,” he said on Twitter.

“Let’s hold hands in this crucial moment and focus on what matters, saving lives.”