Don’t politicize coronavirus unless you want ‘many more body bags’: WHO director-general

The director-general of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned world leaders to not politicize the response to COVID-19, saying doing so will lead to more deaths.

Tedros made the comments at a WHO press briefing Wednesday in response to a question about recent comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump.

READ MORE: Trump threatens to pull back funding from WHO over agency’s coronavirus response

On Tuesday, Trump said he would put a “very powerful hold” on money sent to the WHO, adding that they “missed the call” on the pandemic.

When asked whether placing a hold on the organization was the right thing to do amid a pandemic minutes later, Trump backtracked and said he was going to “look at” doing it.

He also criticized the WHO as being too “China-centric.”

Tedros on Wednesday said politicians should refrain from using the virus to score political points.

“At the end of the day, the people belong to all political parties. The focus of all political parties should be to save their people. Please don’t politicize this virus,” he said.

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

The WHO has been criticized for its decision not to call COVID-19 a pandemic until March 11, long after many experts suggested it should do so.

with files from Emerald Bensadoun, Global News

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