Geneva: The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hit back at US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo for stating ‘WHO co-opted by China’ by saying that the comments are untrue, unacceptable and without any foundation.
BBC reporter, Imogen Foulkes questioned Dr Tedros at the WHO Global Media briefing: I just wonder; I know you have been very quiet on this but we had these quite surprising comments from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in London on Tuesday. Do you have any response to that or could you give us an idea of how you think a big organisation like the WHO can respond to that kind of comment?
Dr Tedros replied: Yes, thank you. I think we haven’t kept quiet actually. We released a statement and as you know, the comments were made, I think, last Tuesday and the comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation, for that matter. Our sole focus and the focus of the entire organisation is on saving lives. If there is one thing that really matters to us and which should matter to the entire international community it’s saving lives and WHO will not be distracted by these comments and we don’t want the international community also to be distracted. As you know, one of the greatest threats we face continues to be the politicisation of the pandemic. COVID-19 does not respect borders, ideologies or political parties and I have said it many times; COVID politics should be quarantined. I’m appealing again to all nations to work together. Politics and partisanship have made things worse so what is very important is science, solutions and solidarity but I repeat, the allegations are untrue and without any foundation.